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Libyan Writer Ghoma

Thursday, 18 May, 2006

The Quarantine of "the Mad Dog of the Middle East" Came to an End?

By: Ghoma

        The resuming of ties between the USA and Libya makes one wonder what was the whole fuss about. Principles? Not really! Both states have not changed their attitudes and behaviors. The United States still pursuing its agenda of controlling the area and its only vital resource: Oil! Libya is still as it always has been for the last 4-decades: A banana state ruled by a hack of a tin-pot dictator. Then what has changed? The oil market. Demand is up, reserve and supply is stable, if not down. It's time to bring the reserve-standby into the game.

        No matter how much rhetoric spent on democracy and human rights by some circles and groups in the USA or Europe, it consists only of lip-service to open the doors for the real interests. [These same powers have been messing up with the area since the time of the Crusades!]. In the age of globalization and rampant free markets, the marketing is much more important than what it's being marketed. When major interests are at stake, as in any ad-campaign, the packaging and the content are two different things. Sugarcoating the bitter pill to make it easy to swallow has been in use since time immemorial, especially by expanding empires. An empire which intent on controlling the world's energy supplies and keen to set out the rules by which others should behave, wouldn't let the oppression of a few million of Libyans, or any other for that matter, stand on the way.

        As for Libya? No pith to loose and no spine to break! When the elephant belches, it only adds terror to an already scared mouse. A terrified mouse takes any whiff of air as a storm and any drizzle of rain as a hurricane. The bombs fell on Iraq and the surrender was in Libya! The behavior of this regime is only the latest of kids who play with fire end up only burning themselves. Qaddafi , after burning all the steps is now like a Phoenix ready to start all over: This time champion of free markets and democracy! The dynasty is on the march? After almost 4-decades of empty rumblings, the camel finally came looked to his neck and recognized that his tent has no stand when it comes to skyscrapers. All those wanna-be dream world plans -if there were really any- were mere spots of hallucinations below the stream of consciousness. And all that made up history of invented heroes and missed wishes has turned out to be a sac of never been stands, imagined battles, and invented heroes! Saying these things only to try to come to, not to explain, but only to understand the sudden change of heart of a regime that made badmouthing imperialism and western decadence its raison d'etre? Didn't this same regime come to "liberate" Libya, and presumably the Libyans and the rest of the Arabs, from the grip of imperialism and the big powers's middling? And wasn't Qaddafi himself, until recently the firebrand boy of the other way -his way!- and l'enfant terrible of anti-imperialism front?

        Realism is a bit too much to ask from those who've been defeated and humiliated since the invention of the wheel. But let's not pretend the woven fables of the quixotic knights were true and build imaginary castles in the air to defend us when real bullets start flying. Realism maybe in short supply in a traditional and backward culture but when one sees some gleam of it, one must not go scrounging for the source. It's enough that it's there! Hope that the virus of realism is not choosy and compartmentalizes its effects. It will swoop its victim into seeing the world as it's rather than as it should be. The visionaries and thinkers may have the luxury to dream of what the world could be, should be, etc. but for a politician the " what is" is the material to work with.

        This is a lesson to everybody. But particularly to those in the opposition. States are different from individuals. States rarely if ever act on principles and they don't have permanent friends or enemies only permanent interests. Some of the opposition has waged all its chips on one horse, though the horse strong and fast, the game ain't necessarily played always the same way! And when the rules change there'll always be a lot of losers and only a few winners. Those groups who put their trust, if not fate, in the hands of the neo-cons must now reckon with the new twists and turns. In the end an opposition is as meaningful and effective as its autonomy, loyalty to some principles, and true patriotism -not the fake one being emulated of some disgruntled Iraqis! It's neither wise nor politically astute to come against normal relations between states. It's rather opportune to remind both of their declared policies and forgotten utterances. A true opposition has to be the champion of the oppressed and the conscience of the powerful.


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