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الأحد 26 اكتوبر 2008

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A Warning to the Libyan Opposition and to the West

I have a number of concerns with respect to how the apparent majority of Libyan oppositionists are executing their stand against Gaddafi. There are too many Libyans who appeal and complain to the west for help. Why do you buy in to the western rhetoric about human rights and freedom of speech and democracy? Why do you believe that their leaders are in fact interested in promoting those privileges in our society? Why the surprise when the world welcomes Gaddafi back into the fold?

These are the same people who have suppressed the entire world for 400 years, and only in the last 50 years have they begun to claim they are all about freedom and democracy. These are the same countries that have supported and continue to support several illegal and criminal regimes worldwide, not just the Middle East. The United States for example has supported such regimes in El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala; supporting and coordinating massacres in the latter countries and utilizing them as a base for the contras to launch attacks against Nicaragua. This is the same country which deposed popular government in Iran in favour of a despotic Shah, which in turn played into the hands of religious leaders such as Khomeini (who not surprisingly resided in the west: France). This is the same country which proclaimed Iran and Khomeini as enemies of democracy, and at the very same time instigated war between Iran and Iraq while supporting both sides with arms. This is the same country which has blindly supported Israel in every endeavour, in the oppression of the Palestinians, in their expulsion from their homeland, and the prevention of their return. They invaded Somalia in the past, and now have supported a full scale invasion of that country by neighbouring Ethiopia. This is a country that actually suppresses freedom of speech within her own borders by restricting politics to a very narrow spectrum deemed tolerable by the government and their media. Whether it is Palestine, Vietnam, Iran, Nicaragua, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq (country ravaged by 3 wars – Iran-Iraq War, Gulf War 1, and currently the Iraq War) – the USA is the last place Libyans should expect help and support. So again I ask, why even play along with their horribly hypocritical rhetoric about freedom and democracy? They have made it clear through their actions, contrary to their rhetoric, that they are first and foremost keen on world domination and maintaining military primacy. They are not ones to depend on.

The United Kingdom and the EU are hardly different. In the 80’s, Gaddafi’s men opened machine gun fire from the Libyan embassy in London and actually killed a British police officer; Gaddafi also supported the IRA and orchestrated the pan-am flight bombing over Lockerbie. What was the British response? It was a visit to Gaddafi’s tent in Jahannam by Tony Blair, along with renewed relations and oil contracts. Again, this should only come as a surprise to someone who actually believes that governments dominated by a capitalistic mentality are interested in anything but economic and military strength. As for the EU the response has been similar: red carpet throughout the cities of Europe. Don’t they know that he is a brutal dictator who kills and robs his own people and those of other nations? Yes, they certainly do, probably better than myself. But our needs are secondary to their own, and would only be attended to if it coincided with theirs.

So I ask the Libyan opposition to perhaps have some more dignity in the matter. Stop subordinating yourselves to western governments; the truth of the matter is they are not genuinely interested in anything that has any sincere hope of improving the conditions of the world. However, I am still very grateful that we have the opportunity to take part in free albeit ignored oppositional activities against Gaddafi in the west through online websites, demonstrations, newspaper articles, and every so often television coverage, etc.

Conversely, I, as a Libyan and as a citizen of the west, must also warn the careless governments of the western world. They have the opportunity right here and now, to make the changes necessary for a better future. They have the choice to retract their support of Gaddafi and other governments like his, and if they make a sincere effort, they can perhaps convince the 3rd world populations that they are changing their ways. Their behaviour is only going to benefit them for so long; but in doing so I believe they are selling their future to uncertainty. The countries of the 3rd world can only be in such a turbulent state for so long; when they rise from the ground they will either offer their thanks to those already standing; or they may instead offer new and far more dangerous hostilities than there exists today.

Unfortunately, history has demonstrated time and time again that people with wealth and power only turn to change when they are faced with a viable danger.


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