On 1st March, on the 30th anniversary of the so called Jamahiriya declaration, Qaddafi, as habitually, went on his usual free-wheel ramblings. He warned his audience to be on the watch, for both their only wealth (oil) and freedom, from the aggressive and gullible Western powers's in their renewed rampaging campaigns to dominate and pillage the Middle Eastern region. He sharpened his tirade and brought it home by exhorting them to be above all watchful of their own kith and ken - their exiled sons and daughters, disgruntled or not- who'd left the Shangri-la of his direct democracy, to reside among the rapacious lands of these same powers which are still harboring covetous designs and thus wracking havoc with the area to achieve them. He craftily and maliciously used the blunderous fiasco of the Iraqi oppositions and the defection of a presumed renegade colonel of the defunct Iraqi Army, and his subsequent treacherous lies (during debriefings) to the Americans, as admonitions to what the West is capable of doing- in brain-washing those simpletons who call themselves oppositions. Actually his characterizations went further in including even the students as subjected to the allures -or traps1- of money and manipulations by their host countries to use them as Trojan horses in getting back to their homelands and thus take control of their resources and enslave the inhabitants again as in the age of colonialism. He issued these admonitions against the exiles including students on scholarships from his own regime! apparently with a straight face and without flinching, knowing his audience(s) tends to get mesmerized, if not hypnotized by such a rhetoric; an audience that was made out of a mixed bunches of sycophants, bought out hirelings, pure and simple idiots, and not to forget presumably also of a good many of bored have-to's who'd no other way to escape his hackneyed and trifle harangues.
It's more likely that no one else, in this world, still cares about what he considers his ingenious invention, the Jamahiriya system, the more reason for him to raise tone of the pitch few notches up and drum up the shrills about later-day "Colombus's Egg," as an envy to the rest of the world. Since the Colonel knows more than any one else again, by promoting a mechanistic view of power at the expense of power itself, he's serving God and mammon in the same time: He's legitimating a design that separated the machine apparatus from the mechanisms necessary to supply it with the juice to run. "The people," the machine in this scheme, are seen mere gears, belts, bolts and nails, and even whistles; while the "revolution," is the juice and crank which remain somewhere outside the reach of the people and in the hands of the only trusted brain, himself, of course! The implementation was assured by the numerous helter-skelter mish-mashed committees, that lacked both conviction and expertise, in addition to someone to be held accountable to? And who would have dreamed such a labyrinthian puzzle, except, of course, someone who's other than an interest to see the country run smoothly and efficiently and all the ulterior motives perhaps to laundering his own Machiavellian schemes as to remain the sole arbiter of the game?
As any crafty and unscrupulous dictator, Qaddafi has long shown his ability of exploiting every and any faux pas or mishap to make his point across his captive audience and win the day. One doubts whether he's so naive to believe that anybody outside of his zombie-like rendered citizens, would buy his witchty brews and stale crones's tales anymore! The funny thing, if not irony itself, that a manipulating schemer like Qaddafi is using the Iraq tragedy to garner support for more of his failed ideas and schemes. Granted what the Iraqi exiles had done, and still are doing, was/is by any means outrageous and will give plenty of ammunitions to those seeking excuses to crush their oppositions, to last for a lifetime if not more. What the Chalabis, the Allawis, the Makkiayas, the Jaafaris, the Sistanis, the Muqtadis, the Malikis, etc. have been doing was beyond the pale of imagination in bringing the house tumbling on its residents in the hope that one day all be living in a brand new house built according to a Yankee's blueprint. It'll perhaps take generations, for Arab oppositions, to recover from the setbacks the Iraqis have inflicted upon them. The stains of shame and the destructions these Iraqis have brought to their homeland will resonate for centuries to come. To that extent one cannot even blame an eccentric like Qaddafi, from using their example to further his own selfish interests.
However, Qaddafi's empty rhetoric is frayed and full of holes everywhere. It clearly lacks the power of its conviction when he lambasted his new friends and accused them of all sorts of epithets. He seems determined in having it both ways: be a friend and a pain in the same time! But at what cost would that be possible? The dictator needs to be reminded his rhetoric aside, his shameful and undisguised bootlicking and toadyish conduct, lately, toward the West must have made his outbursts sound hollows. It also has precluded any need for the West to waste their money and energy to recruit the exiles from his persecutions or his own sent students or anyone else to a cause he's eagerly offering them freely on the proverbial silver plate. With an enemy like him, who needs friends! The Colonel must ask himself: Why the West needs to invade his land or pillage his oil, after he, willy-nilly, came to his senses! and has started towing the line like any good puppet? And when particularly the alleged sought after spoils are available to them for almost nothing, for only their goodwill. In actual fact, he's the one panting breathlessly behind them to accept him as 'their man' and admit him to the club of the obedient collaborators! Though the West still exhibiting signs of a reluctant'friend' Qaddafi is inviting them to come back and fill the space with their exuberance, exploit the oil and quench the hungry market of voracious consumers. "The twists and turns of time" as Libyans would say, had turned Mr. "anti-imperialist," by excellence, into mere blabberer, from both sides, according to the audience, occasion, and his mood!
Anything new in all this? Not really, except for "the war on terror" both sides are engaged in. But it ain't complete realism nor fluffed hyperreality either! Qaddafi's many impersonations of such volatile and exalted characters - messianic prophet, revolutionary, and theoretician- made him prone to live in his created fantasy world than the one he's supposed to operate in. Thus the ideological shades would have blurred that old maxim, which said that among states there's no permanent friendship or permanent enmity, there're only permanent interests. Nor would be believable to think that the knight errant, this time around, was looking for real culpables than just temporary scapegoats to chew on until a next cud takes over. For, all his behaviors since 9/11 will attest to the fact that he well knew that if the West wanted to get rid of him, they wouldn't need local bogeymen for an excuse. They'd already enough on him to justify blowing the whole place out of existence. However, between the stratosphere of his hallucinations and the sausage reality he's to eat from, there're some real interests to look after! What interest Qaddafi is serving? His and only his. That may explain the apparent conversion to anything American these days. It makes one laugh to billy-aching, when hearing about neo-cons started beating their way to Libya to lecture Qaddafi and his cronies about democracy, nation-building, economic transformation, etc. The same people subject to his lambasting furies of imperialists were invited to bestow their blessings on his unique brand of democracy. For instance, the other week, Francis Fokoyama, one of the original signatories of the "American Project,"( which outlined the current Administration foreign policy, particularly as invading Iraq and removing Saddam, Qaddafi's martyr!) and author of "The End of History" and the triumph of 'Liberal Democracy' (wow! what a hubris and depth of scholarship from someone who descends from that inexhaustible well of wisdom, the Orient?) was received with all the fanfare worthy of a real guru or a prophet from the land of Oz: to preach the Gospel of globalization, free-market, and democracy as he knows them. You may think that his audience was made out of "Green Book scholars," who most probably were not up-to-date on the latest flip-flapping of their respected lecturer, on the War on Iraq, or aware of his falling stocks with the hardcore neocons' circles. But there's more to it than meets the eye? Like in his economic policies, a lot of talk but little actions; letting some Western winds vent the stale political atmosphere in his well-sealed tent is perhaps no more than a change of smell rather the opening up, the flaps of the tent, to fresh air. Nonetheless, there's a limit to how much or how long the magician can hide his tricks. There bound to be unpredictable consequences and disappointments. The contradictions will only intensify, between his political and economic policies, as the tide -he or his underlings is unleashing- keeps rising. Would they realize in time where they're falling into or would they walk into the abyss with their own feet?
Are these people serious about change? Do they understand what it takes? Or merely dancing with the times. Qaddafi long considers himself the change impersonated, wouldn't recognize or admit change even if it slaps him in the face! What about his naughty son? Well, he's still just a graduate student who was bought -or sold- on the economic model of that old citadel of conservatism, the Vienna School of Economics," and wants to graft it on his daddy's collections of disparate and undigested tidbits of human thought. Unfortunate for them both to realize their dilemma, that's, Libya is not China, and Qaddafi is not Deng Xiaoping?