Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Radicalization Of Despair

Here's a picture from todays New Statesman from an article by Laurie Penny. She was able to interview the Libyan exiles who have occupied Saif Gadaffi's London home. 
They all tell stories of how they and their familiers had to leave Libya just to survive. All tell horrific stories of inhuman repression at the hand of Moammar Gadaffi's murderous regime.
They tell a story of how last night at 4am,  a well-dressed Arab person, [wearing] nice clothes and gold. When I asked him what he was doing here so late, he said, 'I want to make you an offer.' He told us: 'I have £40,000 in cash. You can have it if you leave immediately.' No amount of money could make us leave this house. It's not a financial issue."

Protestors on the roof of Saifs London House
On the sofa opposite, a quiet man called Ambarak suddenly speaks up in Arabic. "What's a life worth?" he says, as Abdulla translates softly. "What are 100,000 lives worth?" Ambarak perches on the edge of the sofa, looking out of place in his keffiyeh and scuffed trainers. "I'm talking about people being shot by snipers in the street. I'm talking about family members selling dry bread to live.
Meanwhile in Libya, while the world is mesmerized by the Japanese disaster, the revolution in Libya is being brutally crushed by Gadaffis's forces. Today, the strategic town of Ajabiya fell. It is the last impediment to the Rebel held city of Benghazi. When Gadaffi's army reaches Benghazi, we can expect a bloodbath as the rebellion is crushed.
Today, the G-8 was meeting in Paris and fell short of supporting a No-Fly Zone which might have given the rebels a little breathing space. While the West hems and haws, and worries about the collapse of another Middle eastern Dictator, a very valuable opportunity has been wasted.
This is not an Islamic, religious movement. This was a peoples rebellion against a despotic regime. Libya is an oil rich country and the profits from the oil resources did not go to the people, they went to the unimaginably wealthy Gadaffi clan. Mubarak and Ben Ali were pikers compared to the wealth of Gadaffi. Today, the rebels begged the West to implement the no fly zone. They begged to have Gadaffi's compound bombed. Gadaffi took the opportunity given him by the Japanese disaster to suppress the rebellion brutally. We may never know how brutally, but we have re empowered Moammar Gadaffi by our inaction and in the process disappointed the people who asked for our help. We might very well have created the Islamic Revolution we feared by giving the Islamic Militants a chance to use our inaction as a recruiting tool to a repressed people will now be driven by the revenge of a crazed despot into despair! Even Ahmadinejad wants us to keep out of Libya and let the revolution fail!

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