Friday, October 21, 2011

Game Over Gaddafi

Congratulations to all my compatriots! Today the fighting ends officially in Libya.

A death is not  a happy occasion but  the death of Gaddafi  in particular gives a sense of closure to the battered hearts of Libyans all over the world. Libyans needed to see him die in Libya. His death in Libya provides a sense of satisfaction that a trial no matter how 'fair'  could not have done.
Such a clean cut is the best medicine for the wound that has been oozing in Libya for decades.

How he met his end is confusing that's what I'm trying to figure out and I do have some reservations about this, but it does not come as a shock. Some  say he was alive when captured and the videos  we saw on TV and online show that; others say he was badly injured, eyewitness seem to have conflicting accounts.

"Arab broadcasters showed graphic images of the balding, goateed Gadhafi -- wounded, with a bloodied face and shirt -- but alive.
Later video showed fighters rolling Gadhafi's lifeless body over on the pavement, stripped to the waist and a pool of blood under his head.Standing, he was shoved along a Sirte road by fighters who chanted "God is great." Gadhafi appears to struggle against them, stumbling and shouting as the fighters push him onto the hood of a pickup truck.He was driven around lying on the hood of a truck, according to the video. One fighter is seen holding him down, pressing on his thigh with a pair of shoes in a show of contempt." [ref]

However,  it  would come as no surprise that people would not hold themselves and would have finished him off  after capturing him as the overwhelming feeling in Libya was to cut him to shreds if one had the opportunity. It seems the same thing happened to his son Moatassim as well. Live capture and then death.

I was not waiting for his death to feel that Libya had been liberated,  the fall of Tripoli on August 20 was Independence day for me  and Gaddafi's killing has occurred exactly as I expected most of my adult life i.e. extremely violently

I've been grappling with bitter sweet feelings triggered by an acquaintance's  comment ( who is not Libyan) who told me last  night  that it was too fishy that just one day following Hillary  Clinton visits  to Libya Gaddafi gets killed :  "she probably ordered his assassination herself and was here to see it through- telling the NTC and any  NATO troops to finish with the Libya movie script". This friend told me now you will see Highlander, as soon as his death is confirmed NATO and the US will pull out of Libya as their mission has ended.
Why do some people insist on ruining the happiness of Libyans with these types of comments?  Just like most Arabs I love conspiracy theories  but not sure how to digest this one. I want to say that we are not dumb  we understand human nature and the self interest of  nations including the Western world ( who had helped and propped up the Arab dictators for decades  and then removed them when no longer useful)  but let us just have a small  time to savour the event - we have suffered incredibly for most of our life and especially these last 9 months, thousands of Libyans have lost lives, limbs and property for  freedom we deserve to grab some moments of celebration.

May the Libyan martyrs rest in peace not just those from 2011 but all those who died because of him and fighting him  throughout those 42 year.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Red flag of McCarthyism in the new Libya ?

McCarthyism : is the practice of publicizing accusations of political disloyalty or subversion with insufficient regard to evidence.

Last month we were all happily incredulous to hear from the NTC that  the  'state security prosecution and courts, which sentenced opponents of the old [Gadaffi ]regime to prison' were to be abolished.  This meant that the principal  purpose of the old Internal Security Agency  (ISA) was gone. The ISA  was a cross of the worst attributes between the FBI and Homeland Security, it sawed fear in Libyans' hearts  and abused Libyans and non-Libyans  alike who had the misfortune to fall in its hands as any country with a despot  or powerful blind 'homeland security' knows and where the most dangerous accusation was for not being a patriot. A patriot in Libya included in its criteria the persona of the 'Leader of the Revolution' Moammar Gadaffi.

Ironically enough the fact that this government body by spying on all your online and offline activity  knew or sought to know everything about your private and public life was in a way comforting, as you could stop fearing it.   If they never approached you and if you never dabbled  in politics or showed an inclination to free thinking it meant you were considered harmless to them and you could go on leading the semblance of a normal  life: that is eat, sleep,  study , raise a family, work,  and have whatever type of entertainment you can afford even if non halal  (as long as you are discreet). If this was your cup of tea  and you were lucky that no one was jealous enough of you to make false accusation against you, you could survive in Gaddafi's Libya.  

So having this apparatus  basically dismantled  by abolishing the courts above and  by the de facto disappearance of its most hated components due to the war was a breath of fresh air and some Libyans dreamed that there will no longer be a Damocles sword hanging over their heads ready at any time to cut it off. But it would  be naive to believe that any government can survive without internal security and so it came with no  surprise to read  today that  although the  old ISA was being effectively dissolved by the NTC they were instead 
"setting up a security agency whose main task would be to root out those who remain loyal to deposed autocrat Muammar Gaddafi in towns and cities it now controls."

Reading the words of the internal affairs' minister raises  a huge red flag for those who still had an atom of hope that things could be different in Libya in terms of how security. Now this hope  has the potential to be dashed  at all the prospective  abuses that the Libyans could  be experiencing at the hands of an organisation whose force would be giddy with the newly achieved feeling of power as Power is irresistible! 

As long as the  NTC have not clarified how exactly this organisation was going to hunt loyalists and what is the definition of a loyalist and how exactly justice will be meted out  it is feared  a new McCarthyism type of witch hunt  could be unleashed which  would open the gates of vengeance  and private retribution. This is  apparently already taking place in Libya at some level with the currently fashionable expression 'fifth column' being brandished left and right  but because of the nature of the Libyan terrain and the vastness of its land only mild echoes reach the international news agencies with most reporting saying that this or that place is being crushed because there are still pockets of Gaddafi's army while in truth it is  allegedly a personal pogrom led by a city against another, a family against another and a region against another or a neighbour against another. This is human nature! But having an organisation with one specific mandate is really really scarier than the old ISA.

Since internal security in all its factions is an essential component of the state Libyans  are expecting that we will have the opportunity to rebuild it along proper guidelines  identifying exactly what would the role of this force be and what threats was it going to protect Libyans against. 

However with this projected anti-loyalist hunters with no clear mandate it means that we will have people spying on Libyans in all the cities as before, and a number of shadow organisations who answer only to God knows who minus the comfort of knowing that at least they knew everything about you and so will leave you alone as these people are going to start from scratch to protect their hard acquired power. Any one who read about the Stanford prison experiment would understand.

Could this be the direct result of the cyanide we all drank and which I discussed in the previous post  of am I  just being pessimistic today ?