Cutting through all of the bullshit…. er… mushroom fodder

The propaganda that comes from Libya makes it very difficult to discern the truth. I am not talking so much about the revolutionaries, as I am about the Daffy Duck regime. For the time being there has been a lull in the actual news regarding what is, or what might be going on. However, there have been a number of developments:

1. The Islamic country, Turkey, is set to pull its ambassador out of Tripoli. It has decided to recognize the National Transitional Council as the representatives of the people. This is an interesting development, and I hope to see more news reports on the subject very soon.

With regard to Turkey, I have to applaud the stance taken by the Turks throughout the crisis. The Turkish ambassador has played an exemplary role, especially in negotiating to get the release of foreign nationals, arrested without just cause. Amongst those who were arrested and then finally released were two Australians. The reason for the arrest was using a cellphone or something equally trivial. The Turkish ambassador stepped in on several occasions to secure those releases.

At the same time, I applaud the decision of the Turkish government with regard to escorting aid ships to Misrata. This humanitarian action of the Turks should be applauded because the Turkish government took a very big risk at the time (especially when they had not already recalled the Turkish Ambassador in Tripoli). The Turks have acted in an exemplary fashion, placing the humanitarian needs of  the wounded above everything else.

It is for thsese reasons that I am not surprised that the Turkish government has decided to recognize the National Transitional Council. It really is just one more country making a declaration of recognition.

2. The French dropping weapons to the Berbers in the western part of Libya has enraged Gadhafi, but does this translate into rage by those who are trapped in Tripoli and Zawiyah? It seems that this weapons drop could spell the beginning of the end for the Libyan Communist regime. I will have more on this subject when there are more reports about possible new fighting coming from the western mountains region.

3. The African Union is proving that it could not negotiate itself out of a paper bag. Jacob Zuma of South Africa was allowed a visit with Gadhafi, but we do not know what was actually said between the pair. It is probable that Gadhafi offered money to Zuma for his support. This would fit with the rumblings coming from the African Union. Since the continent of Africa is made up of African countries with a bunch of tin-pot dictators it makes sense that they would not be happy with the issuing of warrants for the arrest of their friend and benefactor in Libya. Their roadmap for peace or talks was always going to be rejected because at no time was it suggested that Daffy Duck step down. In other words it is an epic fail.

Another big fail for their ideas is the fact that they are proposing a UN peacekeeping force. The NTC in Benghazi are correct in rejecting such a proposal, because they have constantly insisted that there be no boots on the ground. This is something that is very difficult to keep, but their reasoning happens to be that they want to avoid the Iraq type scenario – or for that matter, the scenario in Darfur or any other place where the UN has a peace-keeping force.

What they should be requesting is that there is a ceasefire, meaning that Gadhafi must give the order for a full withdrawl of his forces from across Libya. Without this withdrawal there cannot be a solution, because it is Gadhafi who has made the promises of a “ceasefire” but the very next hour he has been bombarding the revolutionary strongholds again. He did this when he made the ceasefire declaration initially, after the UN resolution was passed. He actually declared a ceasefire, but the next morning his goons were in place, ready to bombard (in fact they did start to bombard) the town of Benghazi. The French put a stop to that particular campaign!!

Until Gadhafi leaves power there will be an impasse. This creepy man seized power when King Idris was in Turkey receiving medical treatment. He was never an accepted or legitimate leader in Libya. He has destroyed mosques, and he seized control of the Sanusi assets. He has terrorised the population and he has killed large numbers of people who have opposed his rule from the time that he seized control.

4. Addressing the Al Qaeda question again, or rather the non-existence of Al Qaeda involvement in Libya. There have been mulitiple times where I have seen statements from people living in Benghazi that have been forthright on the subject of Al Qaeda. From the beginning, the NTC stated that they are not involved with Al Qaeda and I believe them. One of the sources is that of the widow of a man who set up the free television studio in Benghazi. He was shot in the head by Gadhafi snipers when Perdita, his wife was 8 months pregnant. Perdita dreams of a free Libya, and in her words, she laughs when people mention Al Qaeda. This has been a consistent response from the revolutionaries in Benghazi.

However, the issue is still one that is boiling because some will simply not accept that it is possible for Al Qaeda not to be involved, especially when the regime keeps claiming that those opposed to him are members of Al Qaeda. Let’s look a little more closely at what took place in the early days. Around the time of the start of the protests Gadhafi freed 110 prisoners who were allegedly linked to Al Qaeda. It is questionable that he released them because he wanted to quell the protests, rather it is more likely that he intended to use them as the reason for his harsh crackdown on the population. His constant statements that the revolutionaries were “thugs, on drugs and members of Al Qaeda” certainly wore very thin over time. Considering the nature of the Islamic population of Libya, there are bound to be some who are influenced by Al Qaeda, and this is because of the conservative nature of the people who live there. However, this does not take into consideration that large numbers of the population follow the Sufi form of Islam, but with a difference, due to the Sanusi influence. Yes, there are some imams who are quite fiery, but the fire is against Gadhafi for the most part except in the town of Sirte where the imam claims that being anti-Gadhafi means one is an apostate.

There have been claims and counter-claims about the commission of atrocities. I am afraid to say that footage posted on Youtube can be unreliable in some instances where there is an effort to get out a certain type of propaganda whilst accusing the other side of mistreatment, but being the ones who actually do the mistreatment. In other words, we do not know for certain the origin of some of that footage, can it be verified in any way.  There are people who become suspicious if anyone says Allahu Akbar and I say to them, consider the context before jumping to conclusions. If for example, a regime soldier is standing over a doctor who has been shot and is dying, and demands that the doctor acknowledges Gadhafi as leader, in order for him to live, but instead the doctor says Allahu Akbar, as he is then killed by the soldier (which is in fact what happened outside of Misrata), then one cannot conclude that the doctor was involved in jihad, but that he put God above a political leader. Context in this instance is important, because it showed that the person was not prepared to compromise for some political figure.  On the other hand when Nidal Hasan shouted Allahu Akbar, that was indeed Islamic Jihad and should be roundly condemned. This is the difference between real martyrdom, and faux martyrdom of the jihadist.

The emergence of the old flag in Benghazi, and amongst the revolutionaries is an indicator of the l0yalties of these people. They seem to be people who are loyal to the late king Idris and I think that this is actually key to understanding their positions, as well as understanding the probably future directions that they will pursue.



About Aussie

Married with children. Bachelor of Economics and Commerce, Melb 1975
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