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Is The Country To The Dogs?

Many in the West hold the view that the key to come to grips with the Middle East is to undetstand the behavior of the bazaar. This paradigm has become the stereotypical characterization of the Middle East by Western analysts. Amidst all the hubbub and confusion that usually accompany the hagglings there's always a way to reach an accommmodation. One only needs to let the sellers outpace one another and hold tight to the offer until one -and/or both- is ready.

The bazaar model implies the purely commercial spirit that derives the whole thing. No bounds or principles hold the peddler(s) beyond those that guarnatee him some return however minimal. Thus any dealing with the area involves a lot of haggling and bargaining but very little substance! If you hold firm enough, everything will fall where it supposed to or you expect it to be!

In view what's going on between, on one side, the regime in Tripoli and its prosecutors, and on the other, between the opposition and their sponsors -the details of which remain inaccessible to most- looks more like dealings of contortionists, blackmailers and organized crime bosses than even the bargainings that usually take place in a bazaar! What happened? Perhaps the old model assumed the existence of two interested parties to barter their wares a difference to the emerging global bazaar with its one way flow?

It seems neither of the two nemesis, the regime and its opposition- are aware of theior relative positions, or if they were aware gave little thought to the factors of power in their different manifestations, and that to conspire against each other in times of weakness is only going to make it easier for the giants to swallow them both. That's one fact. The other is, since it's all bargaining and haggling the one who has more to offer wins the contest. The opposition will be used to further abstract more concessions from the regime and then at the end they'll be one more chip to offer as part of the final deal! Surprise! Not really. Since survival and benefit at the expense of scruples and principles seem to drive the gears of both machines -qua literally machines, everything is allowed and nothing is sacred. Why?

Dependency! A word its time came and gone without leaving much of echo in its wake.In part because the forces that drove it were all turned on the loosing side in that illusory but nonetheless real battle of historical proportions, called the Cold War.Today's global doublespeak camouflages the reaction to that period and line of thoughrt by turning the one-sidedness of the globe on its head. Nevermind the slogan, we'll all be winners. So far that notion has not yet been reconciled with the other fundamenatl working slogan or model of the market, winner takes all. But apart from that heavy stuff, the fact is Arabs, among them Libyans, are so weak and fragmented that now have reached the point where not only they import the answers but also the questions. Not enough to import from the needle to the plane but now we're such blase' that we need also to import the instruction of how best to consume them! Two kids bickering on a piece of chocolate waiting for mummy or daddy to tell them how to share it.


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