Thursday, September 17, 2009
Ramadan and Libya being constantly on the news because of the Megrahi and other issues made me forget two important dates.
(1) The anniversary of the execution of Omar Mukhtar.
(2) This blog's birthday.
Yes Highlander has turned six since last month! There have been many learning points :)
The next important date is this Saturday as it will be the first day of Eid El Fitr in Libya
Eid Mabrouk folks !
Type rest of the post here
Monday, September 07, 2009
When Megrahi, the alleged Lockerbie bomber was sent back to Libya to die last month, I wrote a tiny sentence in a very long post : " Oh please not another cycle.. it's getting lame who else now wants money ?"
Was this a premonition?......
Blogger Maya had commented" " About the US reactions to Mr. Megrahi's welcome in Libya - I do not quite understand you. There were similar reactions in Libya when the Bulgarian medics were welcomed and immediately pardoned, weren't there? It is only logical and does not necessarily indicate that somebody "wants more money".
My reply was that " I agree that 'it does not mean someone wants more money' but in the Libya case that's what seems to happen always :P but that was not my point this time."
Again it seems that time has proven me right ( if ever my old friend DM is still reading this blog he would nod his head in approval... I have always been right :P eh?).
No sooner had Megrahi made it back to Libya that the cries for compensation for IRA victims started to trickle in on August 25. I chose to look the other way, but now I am more than convinced I was correct in my assumption.
Just two days ago, "Gordon Brown has confirmed the UK will support compensation claims being made against Libya by IRA victims' families." [ref]
Apparently the Americans as usual had already negotiated compensation from Libya for their citizens ages ago cutting out the British in the process:
"Out-of-court deals have been agreed by Libya with three American victims of IRA atrocities.
But more than 100 UK IRA victims, who had been pursuing similar claims through the US courts, had been excluded from those deals" [ref].
Moreover, we are constantly reminded that the families of the US Lockerbie victims have received compensation, what did the UK victims receive?
Ironically numerous people in the UK lost family as a direct result of American aid, one minor example being the funding sent through the tarnished NORAID organisation. We cannot forget that there was (it may not be that politcally correct anymore) widespread support for the IRA from a large group of Americans of Irish descent and other rich American misanthropes :P... the process only started to be curbed when it bit the US in the face. But my impression is that Americans don't really like those Brits anyway so turning a blind eye could be more than OK,
Today I wonder why is the US not paying blood money also for the victims of IRA terrorism ? It's attitude towards what constitutes terrorism leaves a lot to be desired (but you all know that now this is a useless conjecture).
In conclusion it's easier to just demand money from Libya, because the US can always give the excuse " oh but we have no power over what individual citizens chose to do"! LOL no they only have power when that individual is Muslim or Arab. Irish - Americans have not been incarcerated or viewed with mistrust for their relation to Ireland in their community and by their government - why ? again because they are white and so the xenophobia will not play against them. Xenophobia is selective and the UK is playing a game of distracting the world to gain points with the US and try to shift the blame of the current political fiasco between them on Libya.. The UK would not dare ask America for compensation.
The things goverments, politicians and those in power will do for strategic, national and personal interests... oh and I don't blame them - I merely remark on things
Tuesday, September 01, 2009
Donkeys vs People: The Media Circus
Even before Megrahi left
I am not discussing here the Scottish decision or the
Ok got that off my chest now let me go back to my topic.
Sadly, the majority of Libyans are not that interested in Megrahi's fate. In trying to catch up with the lost years (partly due to sanctions and partly our fault) many of us have become so superficial that we'd rather strive for a bigger income, buy more bling, cars, land, farms and show off. The least on the mind of a large number of my compatriots are things like "has there been justice?" Many of us as so weary of this story (over 20 years now) and believe that it is old and that guilty or not we have paid to the West what they wanted so can this please go away now.
While it is understandable that family members of the victims of the Pan AM flight are saddened and even angered at this outcome, I find it hypocritical that the
It was actually Bulgarian reader and blogger Maya who reminded me of an interesting comparison:
In the words of Ghadafi: "Perhaps they have feelings, and we don't? Maybe we are donkeys, and they are people?". Sometimes one wonders.
The Lockerbie issue and the Libyan Children with AIDS issue are actually quite similar.
(1) Alleged Libyan bomber convicted and sentenced - after bringing a country to its knees with sanctions- by a European court under immense
(2) Megrahi serves 8 years in prison in
(3) US families receive 10 million $ compensation each – not sure what the Scottish families did. ( I'm OK with the concept of compensation after all it is blood money, you can take it and usually forgive ( ie drop the charges) or relinquish your right to take it and either drop the charges or not)
(4) Global circumstance change and the political machine is set in motion.
(5) Megrahi released to die home on compassionate grounds.
(6) Megrahi received home and given what looks like a hero's welcome. There is no life to resume. We still don't know who did it (except the
(7) Outrage by the West
(8) Megrahi gets a kiss and hug from the head of state the following day- more outrage- but is that such a big deal? just reflect about it I don't need to spell it out...
(9) British diplomats think the release of Libyan national was worth it.
Libyan children injected with AIDS issue
(1) Bulgarian medics (+ their Palestinian friend) convicted by a Libyan court for allegedly injecting Libyan children in hospital in
(2) They served 8 years also in Libyan prison.
(3) Global circumstances change and the political machine is set in motion and the death sentence is lifted from over their head.
(4) The death sentence is commuted to prison only and the medics are released to
(5) Medics given a widely broadcasted real hero's welcome in
(6) The west celebrates and one more point 'gained' for freedom from those 'evil' Arabs.
(7) Outrage by Libyans only – nobody else cares
(8) Compensation or blood money finally set in motion for 1 million $ per family. Bargain price he he he. 10:1 and European diplomats think that the release of the European medics and their tag-along Palestinian friend was worth it.
The funny part is that unlike the media's portrayal which carried two photos only across the world and made a mountain out of a molehill, Megrahi did not receive a hero's welcome. The streets were the usual when he returned because the ordinary Libyan as I said had more pressing things to think about like shopping for Ramadan and eking out a living. But there is nothing preventing his tribe, family and friends from welcoming him at the airport and feasting him at home. After all for them he is innocent and anyway just because your dad is a convict you don't stop loving him. One article states that thousands of jubilant crowds greeted him, then a few paragraphs later states that it was a low key approach: " al-Megrahi's welcome was relatively muted. Hundreds of people waiting in the crowd for his plane were rushed away by authorities at the last minute, and the arrival was not aired live on state TV."
Hell I could raise at least 25,000 relatives to greet me when I return from treatment overseas or even if I had gone to prison. For them I'm still Highlander.
So to go back to the beginning Maya reminded me that reactions are logical depending on where you are situated. The only problem is that we need to be fair and either condemn both the Bulgarians (and the West) and Libyans for their jubilation. Or shut our mouth.
I could not care less about the relationship between the two Western allies, it's their problem and they will sort it out soon, it's just that some egos have been bruised and some people did not get a piece of the political pie and so are bitter about it. What I'm worried about is that both countries will bury their differences and unite to somehow inflict pain on
My biggest disappointment is that now that the documents have been sealed forever we will never know what really happened on the ill fated Pan Am flight and more than a lingering doubt will remain about this unresolved mystery.