Your trusted place for Sierra Leone and global news
HomeGlobalGaddafi’s Libya and Western Tango dance

Gaddafi’s Libya and Western Tango dance

Gaddafi’s Libya and Western Tango dance

Little did anyone predict that a suicidal act by a greengrocer in little town in Tunisia, would set alight the current political wildfires that hasvegripped the Middle Eastern part of the world. His act may not be the main reason for these political interregna, but has been the catalyst for the breakdown of serfdom and meltdown of the social fabric.

Tunisia, Egypt and now Libya share similarities in more ways than one. They share historical backgrounds; the majority is Muslim, their leaders autocratic, and have or had been in power for over a generation. Most common of all, these leaders were politically massaged by and shared their beds with the Western governments that are now shouting from the roof tops for their demise. Politics eh? It was as a result of such hypocrisy that these Middle Eastern demagogues stayed in power for so long in the first place, and transformed themselves into the all fearing and all conquering despots and dictators in the bargain.

Libya is a different kettle of fish. In Egypt, the army, the Muslim Brotherhood and people like Alberadi, among others, posed as the focal points. The uprising in Egypt was carried out by the average unarmed man on the street, which earned them the sympathy of the world and moral advantage over Mubarak. In Libya it may have been started by civilians but has now become a military issue; it is war and not an uprising anymore.  No wonder the press are calling them rebels.

Western governments have been grappling with their response to Libya. Meanwhile, refugees and their citizens have been removed. Assets have been frozen, embargoes invoked and now military options like “no fly zones” are on the table. The option is the least desirable of interventions. Force is all-conquering, but its victories are short lived. Iraq and Afghanistan are living proofs. Military glory is an attractive rainbow, which rises in showers of blood; that serpent’s eye, which charms to destroy. Gaddafi is renowned for surviving embargoes and whatever has been thrown at him from the west. But in recent years, western governments have fallen over themselves to bring Gaddaffi from the diplomatic and political wilderness.

With war looming on the horizon no nation is rich enough to pay for both war and civilisation, and history teaches us that men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives. Sadly, we must recognise the chief characteristic of the modern era; that we are in a permanent state of violent peace. But peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding.

Gaddaffi is a tyrant and any excuse will serve him. Tyrants seldom want pretexts. The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants. No wonder that Gaddafi has since been handing out cash incentives of 500 dinars to his fellow countrymen.  His tyranny appears to be exercised for the good of his victims, and it is the most oppressive. Now, he is telling them that it is the work of Al-Qaeda, the West and anyone lacking curly hair. Gaddaffi  is good at making different opponents appear as if they belong to one category. As a dictator, he has been an enemy of freedom and opponent of law. Disregard for human beings is the first qualification of any dictator, the need for freedom always wins; but at what price? History has shown that war settles nothing; as to win a war is as disastrous as to lose one.  A state of war only serves as an excuse for domestic tyranny. It is unquestionable that no matter what political reasons are given for war, the underlying reason is always economic.

Laurent Gbagbo of Cote D’Ivoire decided to defy the whole world and even attacked the United Nations personnel after losing a democratic election; but the high priests of democracy have kept a deafening silence. With Libya on the scene, there are no prices for guessing the reasons for the global outcry for Libya. But again, Cote D’Ivoire is only important to companies like Cadbury, Kraft and Nestle; not forgetting Nescafe drinkers. There are no petro -dollars in the Ivorian forests. Sadly and ironically enough, the African Union is quite happy to take a ring side seat to impose a no fly zone that was initiated by the Arab League, while its backyard is littered with the worst defiance of human civilisation; denying the will of a people.

Muammar Gaddafi

Following September 2001, the world has effectively been involved in two main wars. The effects of these are now felt on the dining tables of many households. It is not surprising that “recession” is the watch word of all governments. The outcome was unavoidable; as almost all war making states borrow extensively, raise taxes, and seize the means of combat, including men from reluctant citizens. Wars are not paid for in war time, the bill comes later. America has its angst against Libya since the days of Gaddafi’s “mad dog “days, but does not have the stomach for another war. No wonder, a military option to solve the Libyan crisis is only on the table. Gaddaffi is aware of this and may be the reason for his recalcitrance to step down. Today the real test of America’s power and wisdom is not its capacity to make war but its capacity to prevent it (Dale Turner). Thank God that the hawks that occupied the White House in the last decade have left, without turning the lights out. Ironically, Dick Cheney once said, “the question in my mind is how many additional American casualties is Saddam worth? And the answer is not very damned many”. See my drift? As events unfold in Libya by the hour, governments are busy re-writing and repositioning their foreign policies on a pay as you go basis.

The Western world has been quick to condemn Gaddaffi and his cohorts. The hypocrisy is there for all to see. The same governments had provided the oxygen for these despotic tyrants in the first place. We saw how world leaders shared their diplomatic beds with Gaddaffi. The man charged with the crime of killing over 200 people in the Pan Am flight was released last year. America, among others is still reeling from that. Some believe that it was because of petro-dollar contracts that the lives of victims were sacrificed on the platter of compassionate considerations.

The truth is that neither British nor American imperialism was or is idealistic. It has always been driven by economic or strategic interests. From Saddam Hussein to Mubarak, Pinochet, Mugabe and right down to Gaddaffi have all been propped in one way or the other by the same nations that are queuing to condemn them today. As we know, dictators are rulers who always look good until the last ten minutes (John Masaryk). Mubarak found that out to his cost.

Gaddaffi has been a friend and foe to all those that have had the misfortune of dealing with him. In 1980, when Sierra Leone hosted the Organisation of African Unity conference, which ironically marked the beginning of the country’s economic demise, he lavished gifts on the country to help ensure a successful occasion. He provided limousines, money and all sorts. Ten years later, he unleashed Foday Sankoh and Charles Taylor simultaneously from one of his training camps in Libya, on Sierra Leone and Liberia. You don’t need a reminder of the consequences.

The fallout from Gaddaffi’s desire to hold on to power has already started with its rippling effect. A figure head from the London School of Economics, which bestowed Gaddaffi’s son with a PHD degree and received over 1 million pounds from his foundation has resigned. The sad thing is all those people who dealt with him seem to pretend that they did not know about Gaddaffi  when they got in bed with him. And it is this impression that is condescending to the intelligence of the man on the street. But as events continue to unravel on the Libyan front, is it not time for these western governments to start re-writing, re-jigging and recycling their foreign policies? Sounds like democracy consists of choosing your dictators after they’ve told you what you think it is you want to hear.  It is always easier to fight for one’s principles than to live up to them. Dictators never invent their own opportunities, but the world cannot continue to wage war like physical giants and seek peace like intellectual pygmies. The world can be a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing. But we should remember that wars do not determine who is right, only who is left. Don’t forget to turn the lights off when you leave the room.

Abdulai Mansaray, UK

Stay with Sierra Express Media, for your trusted place in news!

© 2011, https:. All rights reserved.

Share With:
Rate This Article
No Comments

Leave A Comment