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Why We Should Suspect The Motives Of Ben Ghalbon’s Attackers

It appears that many of us the internet-wise Libyans only need the feeblest of excuses to launch attacks on those they disagree with under the camouflage of defending the truth. Shrewdly aware of this dripping appetite for assault, well-known opposition activists laid enticing invitations for enlarging the circle of foes. Apparently some opportunist spectators fell for temptation. The spectators may live to morally regret participating in the insult-throwing correspondence against Ben Ghalbon which appeared on this site recently. The principal players are held accountable for the material they wrote and insisted on repeating.
The spectators should stop and consider the motives of the principal players. If they did so without prejudice, they would be surprised. Sheikh Ben Ghalbon’s motive was to explain to us why we, the Libyans who wish to see an end to current nightmare, are failing miserably to dent the regime in Libya. The motives of many of those who responded were merely born out of rejection of unpalatable facts that exposed hidden weaknesses and failure to meet the demands of the fight, mixed (regrettably) with a heavy dose of hatred. The content and standard of writings alone tell us that Ben Ghalbon and those who found it easy to attack him seem to belong to different worlds.
Judging by the content of the articles, Ben Ghalbon’s objective in writing the series was not to glorify his role at the expense of contributions by others. He does not need to indulge in this trivial pursuit. He is much greater a man than that. Those who threw cheap labels at him are mistaken and should re-assess. They were misled by colleagues with ulterior motives. Whether others (and now it appears his several enemies) admit or continue in denial, the history of the Libyan opposition activities since 1981 bears witness to facts which challenge the cheap accusations that appeared in some correspondence. One fact is that the Libyan Constitutional Union vision has been singularly unbeatable and no one has come even close to surpassing it. Till this day, the 1981 launch call remains relevant, viable and never needed to be changed to suit the current taste. The LCU vision remains a winner in the complex climate of convoluted political interests in Libya. When it was launched in 1981, it was fresh, unpredicted, inspiring to return to roots and wholly patriotic. Since then, despite the extraordinary efforts to pin the organisation down to the ground and starve it from support, the LCU continued to set agenda and establish a particular tone to the opposition’s work till this day. The vision and the plan threatened the regime in Libya (and schemes by our other enemies) in fundamental areas where it was, and still is, vulnerable and has no defence. By contrast to the LCU call, contemporary messages (with all due respect to those who worked so hard to advance them) have been unconvincing and soon aged into insignificance. This is despite occupying the stage and swallowing up the available political and material support for years.
Alas, the LCU, like any opposition movement at home or abroad, required support by a few prominent Libyans (a few good men) to achieve its objectives. They refrained. In this respect history may judge them as the “not so great few men” who failed to rise above their personal calculations and weaknesses. They refrained for reasons that require examination so that we may have better understanding of the motives of our public figures and learn more about how they dealt with the LCU call. The struggle to regain our country back is the most important issue of our time. We cannot just evade the difficult aspects of the case lest some become upset. We cannot recover unless the defect is identified. What sort of generation will history describe us as if none of us was confident and straight enough to take the heat of telling it the way it is?
The series of articles by Ben Ghalbon (The Libyan Constitutional Union: Its Establishment and Development) provide clear clues as to why, we, the opposing Libyans together with the opposition groups, are failing to achieve anything of value and why we are not likely to. One message that can be surmised is that the issues of the case are approached and interpreted exclusively by a “me, me” culture. The outcome is that the culture of me and mine has burnt our hopes. The recent responses gave plenty of evidence to support this. The extreme obsession with things personal led to failure and more dangerously (perhaps sadly too) to the inability or refusal to see failure when it is shouting loud, the practice of faking success. This is harmful in the extreme especially when dealing with a complex case like ours. Faking success is the habit of those who cannot see beyond their noses, who find comfort in wishful thinking and hate to be challenged. It is a habit cherished by those who reject unpalatable facts and see reporting them only as personal attacks. It is a habit that leaves one open to management. It actually invites exploitation. The me, me culture will get us no where. It makes us look inadequate. Not worthy of any thing of importance. Certainly not worthy of a country. As we learnt from the Ben Ghalbon’s articles, the Libyan case is complex and it is driven mainly by third party forces who calculate, exploit our (many) weaknesses and they have no scruples. They are not trying to win. They think they must win. The “me, me” mentality makes an easy target for the amateurs among them. They really do not have to work hard to maintain the present “going no where” position of the Libyan opposition. We are doing the hard bits for them and adding a disgraceful vocabulary for good measure. The mistake is to reject this scenario and label it as too far-fetched, fanciful analysis (because you had not deciphered it first). That is exactly what they expect to do and continue to dwell in the irrelevance zone.
In order to advance our case, the old culture of personalising everything that moves must be abandoned and a new politics ought to be adopted. We need politics with a taste for democratic thinking and achievements through convincing arguments. Politics in which we think with our heads not with our manhood. Politics that puts the regime constantly on the defensive, puts a halt to its growing confidence and frustrates its rapid climb to acceptability. We need to adopt a modern politics built on robust motives where if you screw up, you get told, you do not launch into unending whinge and revenge extravaganzas, you do not distract the rest of the nation from the case, you find it in yourself to accept accountability and move on. The critics and more critically the attacks on Mr Ben Ghalbon did not reflect any of these basic traits. We must question the motives of the writers. If we do not, we fail our best, and sooner or later will lose them. The principal players in the opposition groups are invited to develop a taste for the process of modern politics and cultivate motives built on something more meaningful than the “me, me” marketing occupation. With regret, I am not holding my breath, nor should you.

Ahmed. S. Mosbah
London


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