Few years ago, hundreds of young children contracted the HIV virus due to the utter deterioration of the Libyan Healthcare System.
In any other country, such catastrophe would have resulted in mass resignations and the establishment of a task force to overhaul the whole horrible system. That is the only sensible response to identify the real causes and to prevent similar catastrophic failures from occurring in the future.
Qadhafi’s Libya, however, is different. Its wacky government is as far from rationality and common sense as it can be. No attempt at improving the appalling conditions in Libyan hospitals was made. Instead, Qadhafi and his officials responded by scapegoating and imagining all sorts of ludicrous conspiracies. They picked out a Palestinian medical student and five Bulgarian nurses who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. They fed those easy victims to the torture machine of their hellish system of justice and obtained false confessions. At first, the six victims were labelled as CIA agents. Remember, the HIV virus, according to Colonel Qadhafi, is a CIA invention!
After the American victory in Iraq, however, the Qadhafists saw clearly the danger of using such foolish label. And so the HIV catastrophe was relabelled as an act of serial killers. The charge is absolutely ridiculous. It’s possible, of course, to have one or two serial killers in one place. But to have a committee of them! That takes the thrill out of serial killing. Only the sick imagination of the Libyan regime can make a hornet’s nest of serial killers out of caring female nurses.
The aftermath of the Libyan HIV disaster can be summarized in the following:
There can be no doubt that the Palestinian student and the five Bulgarian nurses have been subjected to the severest forms of torture to obtain false confessions. The entire Libyan System of Justice is based on the medieval rule of “confession is the master evidence”, which practically means ‘confession is the only evidence’. As a result, torture in all its forms has become the main tool for obtaining false confessions and administering a worthless system of phoney justice.
By scapegoating unfortunate foreigners, the Libyan officials have failed to acknowledge and to confront the operating factors behind the HIV tragedy including the terrible hygiene, the lousy management, and the numerous malpractices that plague their health system. And hence they have left the door wide open for the repetition of similar catastrophes in the future.
By channelling the anger of their public towards ill-fated strangers, the Libyan officials have failed to take responsibility for their own mismanagement and have failed to do what is right. To do what is right in this case, the Libyan officials must release their scapegoated victims without delay. They must also offer financial compensation comparable to that of the Pan-Am and the French airliner to all the families of the infected children. That is precisely the right course of action, which the Libyan officials are trying to avoid by scapegoating helpless and innocent strangers.
By obtaining ludicrous and false confessions through torture and mistreatment, the Qadhafi regime has shown once again its savage nature as a tyranny built from the start upon treason and treachery. It can never be trusted. There is absolutely no chance of reforming or humanizing that cruel and evil regime.
By using innocent foreign health workers as pawns in its preposterous manoeuvring, the Qadhafi regime has proven beyond any doubt its inability to get along with the world community. It’s forever driven by its own fascistic nature to seek out hostility in one form or another towards the outside world. Only the threat of use of force can keep this hideous regime in check. For this reason, it’s absolutely certain that the hopes of all those, who want to reform Qadhafi or to do business with his regime, will be dashed, as soon as President George W. Bush is out of the White House. The HIV crisis, the prize to Hugo Chavez, and the recent row with Italy point clearly and strongly to Qadhafi’s ultimate relapse expected in the post-Bush era. In brief, reforming the savage regime of Qadhafi is impossible. For this regime, foreign workers, business deals, and international companies are nothing but hostages and pawns in endless games of hostility and political posturing. The Bulgarians have learned this the hard way. And in due time, others shall follow.
Is all this hostility towards outsiders necessary for the survival of the Libyan regime? Well, Qadhafi has played this very game for more than 36 years and survived. He can’t take the risk of giving it up now.
In principle at least, can Qadhafi’s fascistic regime change its hostile and bad behaviour? Superficially? Yes! Deep down? No! Here is an example.
Recently, the Qadhafi family and its associates have engaged in playing out a new game, mainly to entertain a host of new ambassadors in Tripoli. They gave up the old Soviet paradigm of ‘showing a solid united-front in public at all times’.
In this new game, Qadhafi’s brightest son plays the role of the libertarian on the left; Qadhafi’s only daughter plays the role of the ultra-nationalist on the right. While Qadhafi himself plays the role of the pragmatic politician in the centre. Very intriguing! Observers are mesmerized. Paradigm shift, they think. Not a chance! The new open dissent of the Qadhafi family is completely theatrical with no principles in the sky or political foundations on the ground.
It’s ironic that clever Libyan politicians in exile, who witnessed with their own eyes Qadhafi’s openness of 1988 had come to nothing, have been fooled by such silly game of empty openness once again. How many times they have to be deceived and disappointed to realize that the only purpose of their Qadhafi in life is to rule and to continue to rule with iron fist?
Finally, it should be pointed out that the scapegoating of foreign nurses, as perpetrated by the Qadhafi regime, is not only a travesty of justice, but also a crime against the Libyan people. Their hospitals can only go down and deteriorate. And their health needs will never be served by scaring away qualified medics.
Ali Bin Typhoon