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Libyan Writer Ghoma

Friday, 11 November, 2005


By: Ghoma

        Apart from the usual atmosphere of theatrics that surrounds and accompanies the occasions the dictator of Libya in the habit to celebrate, such as the like of "his achievements," or less often to commemorate national pitfalls, nonetheless, some of these deserve more attention than they've gotten, so far, from the oppositions and from all Libyans in general. Nations were built on myths as much as by brawns. States as nations, as often quoted, were built on power but reconstituted out of habits! In the life of any state there are certain issues and occasions which are -and should be- beyond the ideological pales or the political tonalities. Such issues of national identity, independence, and sovereignty; and, occasions of national crises, subjugations, and disgrace must go -and indeed be seen- as beyond the confines of polemics at least when there're many other issues of contentions to deal with. When the national existence is threatened or the state is in stressful political order it doesn't make any difference what mix of ethnicities or cultural heritage its groups belong to. They're all in it in one way or the other regardless of their genetic mix-ups or political persuasions.

        As to the occasions! Take for instance, the Italian invasion of Libya back in October of 1911 and the subsequent genocides of a great number of innocent humans committed in the-name-of-who-knows-what -folly! greed, and the inebriation (actually delusions, of imperial power!)- are a case where not only all of Libyans but all of the conscientious of this world should raise their voices against and take some time to reflect on, ponder over, grapple with, and indeed demand that the perpetrators be brought to justice before they pass on. Italy -and the Italians- have, so far, taken the ostrich example of handling their historical faux pas! The struthious behavior made worse by the denial of its causes . They seem to be capitalizing on time to bury their misbegotten deeds in the "colonies"! Italians, as others of their cohorts, have found the road of denial convenient -if not east- and thus have clammed up on their atrocities in the hope that no one will pay attention to the past nor to that savagery side of their behavior.

        It's still a far cry to expect the perpetrators to own up to their deeds and come to their senses without some pressure to induce them to do so. The victims or their progenies must pursue this case vigorously before time dims its edges and blurs its details. Libyans, for instance, have to stop moaning and wailing and find a better way to express their long pent-up rage. Show some real determination to never let themselves down by being caught unaware or by depending on some other to do for them what they must do for themselves. Respect, as they say, must be deserved and not asked for. Libya has to prove that it intends to prosecute its aggressors, no matter how far or near they may be in time and space, by deeds and not just pompous rhetoric and empty threats. Therefore, instead of mourning and the like discharges of fake emotionalisms, as the Bhagavad Gita says: "sorrow is sheer delusion," it's more productive to channel these energies into what may bring some positive outcomes. Before we ask others to recognize our losses and appreciate our sufferings we must acknowledge all the heroes, remember all the fallen and make constant reference to the pain and suffering. These acts must be carried on with dignity and translated into institutional functions. Thus, designing and building memorials to the fallen, museums to keep the records of killing, torture, and destruction; and lectures and other multimedia displays to recall the pain and suffering and to keep alive the extent of humiliations our predecessors had been subjected to. We've to keep in mind the fact that neither the world nor people in it would lend their attentions to mere complaining and supplications for abstractions, such as the notions of justice or ideas of freedom, but they will pay attention when they see tangible material records of aggression and barbarity. By searching and digging everywhere we can to collect whatever documents, scenes, testimonies, etc., can we take stock of our history and the rest of the world takes stock of what had been committed in the name of 'civilization'

        The Italians are all another story! The 'artists and lovers of the Mediterranean' had once again 'strayed out' of their presumed character, and pushed their luck further than their natural endowment would have permitted them, when they tried to mimic their more 'virile' and punchy neighbors. The result was one of the clumsiest conquest campaigns history had ever witnessed. An elephant letting its fury against a bunny rabbit, or rather inattentive deer! Italy's invasion of Libya was literally an organized genocide by a modern state machine. No other way would justice to describe it. No excuses, no rationalizations, nothing in God's or Devil's world's or logic could or would justify an attack by one of the most powerful countries of the time against one of the weakest of them all. Perhaps only dumbness, ignorance, greed, and arrogance can come close to characterize those who'd orchestrated such an adventure! The tragic irony, even after all this time, after it all had finished and came to a sorrow end -and after Italians supposedly have come to their senses- Italy still insists on playing the role of the innocent by lying to itself of what it did do and denying to others the retribution they deserve. Italy had never experienced what usually comes natural in such situation, as at the end of a horrible tragic mishap: sentiments of atonements, penitence, and a sense of compunction, which, normally lead to real and heartfelt apology! So far, it's never admitted to itself the misdeeds it embarked on, nor has included in its curriculums the crimes it'd committed. Mum! Why? Because, first, Italy as a vanquished nation was deemed beyond reproach by the winners; and thus, since then, was looked upon as a helpless nation which if it couldn't even help itself reason enough not to expect her to help others. The winners and the world community have not realized, perhaps the extent of the crimes committed. And so Italy's kaleidoscopic governments that have come and gone since the War -all those center-left, center-right or even Dante's center-Hell- came to the same conclusion: Let's not poke into the stinking pile of our recent history, for it'll stink to Hell! Second, because Libya, equally, under the emasculated kingdom regime, or under the chickenhawk tin pot of the present regime, has failed, not only to prove that's up to the task of vindication, but also to pursue the issue vigorously!

        If Italy thinks that by making some insincere 'regrets' and promising a lousy road, rail or a hospital, it's going to have her past behind her, it's surely as mistaken as Mussolini's dreams of resurrecting his ancestors' empire -the Romans! It takes more than throwing crumbs to the victims for them to forget the tortures they went through. Italy must come clean first and then ask for what it should do in order for her to establish relations of mutual trust!

        Since it's expected that the aggressor(s) to reverts to all kinds of tricks, neglect, denial, and what-have-you, then, it's incumbent upon the aggressed-on to counter such attempts by raising all shouts and squeals, loud and clear, till the culprit(s) comes forth or the world gets sick. These outbursts of anger and outrage until heaven comes down or hell freezes serve to raise consciousness and keep the issue alive! Only by making this occasion a reminder to Libyans and indeed to all of the small and weak peoples and countries, not to take whatever little they've got for granted. For the predators are still too many and the conscientious are perhaps too complicit in the looting of the weak and too distant to come to the help. "Never again" must be the universal motto raised against all injustices regardless of who committed them.


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