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An Historic Decision
Or A Step Toward Fuller Exploitation Of Libya's Wealth?

The recent article (http://www.libya-watanona.com/news/n2006/oct/n01oct6e.htm) on the historic initiative by Gaddafi junior to build a free zone city in Libya along the lines of Hong Kong was a surprise at first glance. On the surface it appears to be a compromise idea between father and son on how to play with their inheritance and resolve the apparent rift. The rift between the old guard’s joy of politics by the old man, which does not seem to move beyond the green book, the revolutionary committees and Jamahir something or other, and the new world outlook entertained by the junior where free economy, Monte Carlo style business and the attitude of let us break away from the boring revolutionary drivel and these ghastly pictures of the leader in that silly head gear everywhere you look in the streets (ran out of explanations to his foreign friends).
According to the article, the young man gets a brand new city to play together with big international business institutions and selected friends. The playground will be backed by Libya’s vast resources and a highly skilled foreign elite teams to manage its affairs. At the same time the old man can keep his degraded country with its people to continue dreaming up more weird experiments. After all we cannot expect the old boy to experiment without material. He needs lots of people to be under the proper conditions for the experiments to give any satisfaction. They must stay poor, very busy with trivial daily stuff, kept anticipating something dreadful from troublesome committees (new ones invented frequently), mainly unaware, grateful for little improvements, etc. And of course they must be good in clapping and shouting stuff and punching the air with their fists. (why anyone gets satisfaction from this is beyond us the uneducated in revolutionary speak).
The new city will be secured by a huge surrounding wall to keep unwanted ones out. It makes sense. The locals do not look all that attractive and will not understand all this modern stuff of fast banking practices. They would spoil the look of the city. Best keep the lot out.
Horrific, but plausible as the above picture might appear, it may be only part (a small part) of the bad news. On further analysis, the historic decision appears to be a cover for something worse. The decision sounds much like a step of the mega plans designed for our most unlucky country.
A little while ago an article appeared in Al-Hayat daily written by Shaik Ben Ghalbone (links below) in which he dealt with a number of difficult issues facing Libya as a nation. An item in the article articulated a possible plan to exploit Libya’s wealth for the benefit of a certain sector of international business institutions and associated beneficiaries. In the article Ben Ghalbone expressed a serious concern about a possible scheme to exploit the country’s wealth in some fashion and exclude its own people into a second class disfranchised category.
It was said that: “We are seriously concerned that the influence of the Jewish organisations inside the American institutions responsible for the Middle Eastern policies were employed to materialise the Zionist desires to control Libya politically and exploit it economically as soon as the Palestinian case reaches a solution and the two sides arrive at some sort of accord that satisfies the Arabs and forces peace between them and the Israelis. Thus came the Libyan coup d'Etat of 1969. A first step to prepare, with its extraordinarily narrow vision, the required environment for realising the scheme”. The article continued by explaining the justification ideas: “This (the plot) would appear to be a justifiable angry response and would result in few prepared to condemn it in defence of a country who's coup lost it its respect, credibility and every friendship of note. Neither would there be defence for the interests of a nation now retarded several centuries in every civilised field by the peculiar practices of the coup”. And went to describe the return of the professional elite layer who will facilitate: “Returning your community to a society in the grips of anarchy, ignorance and deep confusion will inevitably make you a leading elite minority in the society enjoying international respect and sympathy. The outside world would no doubt choose to deal with the country through you on political and economic affairs. The coup apparatus, once forced to realise that its existence and continuation are directly linked to the satisfaction of the elite minority, will endeavour to protect and serve it”.
With the announcement by Gaddafi junior to build a free city zone in Libya, are we now looking at the historic decision as the first practical step of “the plot” taking the country into an economic black hole?. If so it is a truly frightening prospect of a new designer territory. The signs are bad. If the scheme goes ahead, Gaddafi junior will welcome a selected elite minority and give them protection in the designer city to operate without restrictions. The outside world will no doubt chose to deal with them. It will be a perfect route to siphon the wealth of this most unlucky country to the chosen ones. If the above analysis is correct in whole or in parts, the plot appears to be more devious than could have been imagined. It is, it seems, designed to appear as no more than a little compromise between father and son but it is in the end for the good of the country and therefore no one would question its value. The plot appearing in the clothing of a 21st century project is a nearly perfect plan. I will not be surprised if in due course a reference to spreading democracy is included somewhere in the aims of this historic decision, project, plot, scheme, etc. For added value it is passionately promoted and driven by the most powerful in the country who is not answerable to anyone. In the meantime, we sit and watch and develop more ulcers. Surely the senior patriotics among us who contributed to this nightmare will question their legacy sooner.
[1] The article was posted on the independent on Sunday on 1st October 2006.
http://news.independent.co.uk/people/profiles/article1777700.ece.
It was posted on this site on the same day.
Link : http://www.libya-watanona.com/news/n2006/oct/n01oct6e.htm
[2] Link to article in Al-Hayat 09 January 2006:
http://english.daralhayat.com/Spec/01-2006/Article-20060109-ac669684-c0a8-10ed-015e-e9e37cc81473/story.html

Ahemed S. Mosbah
London, October 14th 2006


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