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Libyan Writer Ghoma

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Sunday, 17 August, 2008


By: Ghoma

        The secretary of State, Condi Rice, said at the conclusion of, for all practical purposes, one-sided negotiations, of the type do what we ask or nothing is happening: "many, many years of hard work as well as Libya made some important strategic choices." Yeah! Some important strategic choices, but not for Libya. All the vaunted "hard work" seemed to have gone trying to find an appropriate fig-leaf under which Libya can hide its embarrassing cave in. Once again, Libya has totally surrendered to the American demands, while claiming in the same time to have achieved some parity and respect. What a pretense, what a country? A mouse claiming to size up with an elephant without perhaps knowing it! David Welsh has slapped them in the face when he asserted that no American tax-money is going into the Fund and repeatedly listed the huge figures still owed by Libya and thus have to be paid to the American side, in addition to the still open and continues liability of Libya in front of American courts. Then why Libya, its media, and other ineffectual Arab institutions kept praising the settlement as a sign of success? Is It an Arab trait to turn defeat into victory?

        Though no one can be absolutely sure about what had happened and what had not, of the bizarre and quirky deals among and between states, in the folded annals of history, no country had ever done what Libya did: giving up the few cards it had before sitting on the table of negotiations. From this single mistake all Hell broke loose in the Libyan meager treasury and the footing of bills still continuing with its inexorable relentlessness. The absurd and gross mistake had practically sealed off the country's fate, i.e., as a guilty loser and thus has put itself under the mercy of the winner. It had no less, in fact, than opening itself to a practice well known between unequal adversaries: blackmailing! The result was one-sided: Libya has to ante up billions upon billions of dollars before it could be certified as an OK state. That's, Libya has to purchase its way back to normalcy; namely, buying its clean bill of health so to speak, expensively. In legal terms, what outrageous concessions for Libya, have been subject to were no different from what in olden times used to be called Capitulations! Accept all the blame, give up all claim, and pay up all we ask before we let you back into what states have, by the mere fact of being: normal conduct! Why Libya from all the countries of the world has been chosen to be the bogeyman and Guinea pig on which to show the rest what fate awaits them if they don't heed the warning and tow the line?

        The answer to such a question, as obvious as it may seem, resides more in the core values that defined Libya and in the character of its inhabitants than merely in the conduct of its dictator. It's evident from the fact that Qaddafi after all is Libya writ large! Not knowing thyself perhaps was a Libyan trait shared and ingrained in its DNA of both the dictator and the desert tribes he's been corralling all these years. Their both congenital abhorrence to matters civilizational was only matched by the empty slogans of "Tuzz fee Amreeka" and the many other silly farts which had led the country, upside down and on its head, to more troubles than it could have handled in the rest of time. The result 40-years of roaming into the wilderness of the great Sahara, a la that other dude, Moses, who had led his flock to roaming in the Sinai desert for 40-years, without ever reaching his destination, the Promised Land! The folks who hide behind semi divine claims to escape a human accounting have never given any clue to where they're heading, or any indication they could find their way back, in case of losing it, to where they've started. This is another case when ignorance, in matters of state and otherwise, left unchecked, where it could lead to, disastrous consequences. The false claim of forming a state out of tribal constituencies has shown its logical absurdity. A half century of tripping and false beginnings have given to old Libyan saying "The year he was expected to walk went back to crawling," some validity to wisdom. The revolutionary fever has abounded with ignorance more than foresight and sagacity. Though had swept the country off its feet, it's also given false confidence in itself. Again, why Libya from all countries? Because it's the weakest in the long chain of countries, whose big mouths were no match to what their muscles could handle.

        The country which for the last 40 years was led by a firebrand dunce of pseudo revolutionary, has, in this relatively short period of time, accumulated enough mistakes to last her for the rest of eternity. It became a paragon to what not to do! Despite the never-ending rhetoric and the false boasts of anti-imperialist struggles, the country has done more to perpetuate the causes of imperialist hegemony and their treasuries, than perhaps any other in the contemporary world. And despite the mumbling of a broken-record type of the Father-Son duo, the world only sees and hears its broken record of revolutionaries' hot air?

        An "International humanitarian settlement fund," mumbo-jumbo for the oil companies to throw some millions there, tax-deductible, cost effective, of doing business since they'd be subtracting first from the oil-revenues before any divvying up of the profits. Who else will possibly be contributing to an Americans-Libyans deal? Maybe the Gulf protectorates under the pressure from their protector? Maybe other multi-nationals as fees to enter the Libyan market? But no matter who will pay into it, it's exclusively for the Libyan victims. The Petro-state, Libya, has paid or will pay to the last cent, while in the same time is stretching its hands to the multinationals' charity to pay its own victims! The AIDS' case all over again! Paradoxical ridiculousness and the funny thing when Americans were included to the fund's beneficiaries. Ain't this a smokescreen to hide the fact of one-sidedness of the whole affairs of compensation? The silly trick comes only as a joke and makes one laugh at what some people are willing to put themselves through to swallow their pride and submit to the mighty. In fact Libya has already accepted to pay the rest of the sum, before Congress had even voted to take Libya off the hook, actually to warrant it limited immunity in future potential squabbles. So why the clause of including Americans in was made? Clearly from the regime version of events, was insisted upon by Libya to cover the fact the Americans have stuck it to them again; to ride off another humiliating settlement, perhaps to give the impression of equality, mutuality, reciprocity, and the rest of the expressions so dear to the loser and so vexatious to the rest of us.

        To those who think that at least the country has done a service to humanity of accepting to be an example, to put it in religious terms, of how penitence was done and how to redeem itself, not only for dumb mistakes, but especially in terms of proliferation of WMD matters, and to Iran and N. Korea in particular. Not really! Libya, in giving and giving even more without ever receiving anything substantial in return worth to list, has made it more difficult for others to walk in its footsteps. First, the other states lack the cold cash at the disposal of the Libyan state. And, second their political regimes have some accountability to answer to their constituencies than the dictator of Libya has. Not having the cash, or the political will, nor the guts to accept what Libya has been through, a humiliating surrender, have actually enforced the view which says the reward(s) was not worth putting up with what the West demands. Thus neither Iran nor North Korea will ever take Libya' s conduct as an example in their dealing with their nemesis, the West, to accept a one-sided deal.

        Libya, by accepting the idea of the "Humanitarian Fund," has tricked itself and its people false pretence, that of having gotten something in compenastaion for the American aggression of April 1986. In truth Libya has only found a way to luander its right for its legitimate claims. It'd have been better to accept to pay a stronger predator and to leave the door open for what you consider your right dues for the future. Libya should have never accepted settling such a burniing issue from the position in which it's still in, of weakeness. Generations and leaders come and go, but people will always be there. What this crop of leaders and this generation couldn't handle or achieve perhaps another one will. So why accept the injustices done you, as a fait accompli, and closed the door for future re-addressing them? One more nail in the coffin of an inept regime! Dictators are shortsighted.

        Perhaps the invasion of Iraq had caused some weakling dictators of the area to panic to give in to Western demands to avoid the fate beset of one of them, Saddam? Or perhaps there's truth to some of the neo-cons' thinking along lines of that old revolutionary axiom: kill one to scare the bejesus of scores of the rest of 'em! In the long chain of weaklings, Qaddafi has broken the record in perhaps all history. He'd not only surrendered without conditions but gave up on the idea that he's responsible for the interests of 6-million souls. He's buckled under the minimum pressure and gave up the whole idea of being a head of a 'sovereign and an independent state,' which has inter alia, the right to determine and to pursue what it deems appropriate to its defense. Instead the dictator has opted for survival of his regime, and chose what Arab regimes usually do, to purchase their defenses through paying protection money to and from the Biggies of this world. He paid dearly from what he didn't own in the first to silence a bully he couldn't handle or ignore. Billions upon billions from the treasury were wasted while half of his country are to starving: Ain't this the sin of all sins? Where is God in all of this or His vicars on earth, the Islamists, who are doing deals as we speak with his regime? Where are the 'revolutionaries' and their committees, where is the GPC to ask: Wait a minute schlemiel. What are we getting from all this? A lousy not being listed anymore as a rogue state? Or not being called terrorists? Or is it THE VISIT of her majesty, Condi Rice, worth all of these billions? Where's the idea of symmetry and reciprocity here, or just for them not for us?


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