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Gaddafi’s Imaginary World: Libyans Vs Insanity

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By Hany Ramadan
Political Researcher - Egypt
Libya spread
Libyans have become much bolder in rejecting the killing of their children and young people over political differences with the regime

It seems some Arab leaders do not want to understand that the people they are ruling are no more willing to tolerate their repressive regimes or submit to their distrustful authorities and peculiar whims.

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi is one of those leaders who are unable to get out of the sick imagination that he has either to rule his people against their will or kill them all and destroy their country in cold blood.

He has given a free rein to his policemen, military forces, and foreign mercenaries to attack his unarmed people to quell their bold popular revolution that aims at ending his 42-year rule of iron fist.

Gaddafi is much persistent in crushing his opponents even if they are in thousands or millions. He believes that he has to stay in power for the rest of his life and that the Libyans have to fully obey him or he would fight them with no mercy "until the last drop of his blood".

He seems unable to understand that the majority of Libyans are ready to sacrifice their lives to attain their goals of freedom, dignity, and justice that have been proved attainable by two neighboring nations, Tunisia and Egypt respectively.

Can the Army Save Libya?

Social injustice and discrimination, restricted freedoms, economic failure policies, and harsh political repression against all dissents are mainly the direct reasons of Libya's demonstrations

Many are asking if the Libyan army can play a role for the interest of the Libyan people against the regime as it was the case in Egypt and Tunisia.

Military experts see that the weak structure of the Libyan Army, the tribal factor in selecting its leaders, and the control of Gaddafi's sons over the army's main brigades are among the reasons why the army cannot have a unified stance against the regime at this hard time.

"The Libyan army is not institutional at all. It is based on a number of paramilitary brigades known as the Revolutionary Committees each of which belongs to one of Gaddafi's sons or close relatives," Military expert General Mohamed Belal told OnIslam.net

He explained that the tribal structure of the army's leadership played a negative role against formulating a national military stance.

"The Libyan army, unlike that of Egypt or Tunisia, does not have a military council that can take a unified national action at such times of emergency," he asserted.

"The actual Libyan Army is almost symbolic, a weakened and emaciated force of little more than 40,000, poorly armed and poorly trained. It is part of Col Muammar Gaddafi's long-term strategy to eliminate the risk of a military coup, which is how he himself came to power in 1969," the BBC reported.

Several reports said that Gaddafi worked hard over years to sow the seeds of division among Libya's major tribes represented in the army in order to distract attention away from his corrupt and repressive rule and to guarantee that they do not unite together in a way that undermines his rule.

"Fostering rivalries among the various tribes in the army through selective patronage has not only strengthened his control over the military, but has also worked to draw attention away from Col Gaddafi and his regime," the BBC reported.

However, if a big number of the Libyan network of paramilitaries joined the side of protesters, they can greatly undermine Gaddafi's grip and contribute to his fast fall.

Gaddafi's Speech:  False Allegations

Gaddafi appeared on his state-run TV in an improvised long speech to threaten his people that death and bloodbath221-Mideast_Libya_Protests.sff.embedded.prod_affiliate.71 are the only response to their demands of freedom. As it is usually expected from an Arab repressive leader, Gaddafi made several allegations against the patriot peaceful demonstrators in Libya seeking his departure.

However, his allegations that those demonstrators are just drunken young people and on hallucination drugs on the one hand, and that they are just a bunch of traitors working for foreign agendas on the other, are simply contradictory, not just far from the reality.

His talk that Islamic militants are controlling some Libyan cities and are going to control the whole country is a historic lie. This is commonly said by Arab leaders whose regimes are now fallen apart, and they use this rhetoric to appease the  West against those "common" Islamist enemies.

Gaddafi's speech came as a desperate attempt to keep clinging to power after he had realized that his rule is destined to collapse within days.

Libya's regime led by Gaddafi is losing control over several major cities like Benghazi, the second largest city after Tripoli, and is expected to lose control over the capital soon as largely expected.

Foreign Mercenaries

Using foreign mercenaries is considered a highly provocative move against Libyans who seem persistent to end Gaddafi's era of oppression and tyranny.  Many say that the scenes of foreign mercenaries killing Libyan nationals on the first days of protests provoked many people and prompted them to join the street demonstrations against Gaddafi's regime.

"There are widespread reports that Muammar Gaddafi has unleashed numerous foreign mercenaries on his people, in a desperate gamble to crush dissent and quell the current uprising," the Guardian said.

The origins of those mercenaries are various and said to be from Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Niger, Mali, Sudan, and possibly even Asia and Eastern Europe, according to the paper.

Al-Jazeera Arabic satellite showed shots of a number of arrested mercenaries in the eastern part of Libya with their passports that tell about their origins. They confirmed that they were brought from some African countries like Chad, Niger and Congo.

Libyan repressive regime is going to face a dramatic end at the hands of peaceful civilians who have challenged its excessive use of force and violence to send Gaddafi, who ruled them for 42 years, a clear message: Enough is enough.

Roots of Dissatisfaction

Social injustice and discrimination, restricted freedoms, economic failure policies, and harsh political repression against all dissents are mainly the direct reasons of Libya's demonstrations.

Many Libyans are better educated now and have been working together as one nation, despite Gaddafi’s attempt to divide them along the tribal lines, and they have managed to develop a great sense of national peaceful identity through a deep awareness of the importance of having a new institutional national structure.

Several reports said that Gaddafi worked hard over years to sow the seeds of division among Libya's major tribes represented in the army in order to distract attention away from his corrupt and repressive rule.

Libyans have become much bolder in rejecting the killing of their children and young people over political differences with the regime and rejecting leaving them behind the bars of Gaddafi's prisons.

Recently, they have become more determined to face corruption of officials and many have learned to say no.

The internet that played a great role in the Arab revolutions of Tunisia and Egypt, has also contributed greatly to the Libyan uprising.

It’s clear that Libyans, who are the descendants of the great freedom fighter Omar Al-Mukhtar, have totally rejected being portrayed by a dictator like Gaddafi as "rats", "drunkards" and "traitors".

Libya is now a totally different place with all those scenes of blood and corpses in the streets of many of its major cities. Libyans do not deserve that brutality that deeply violates their human dignity and rights.

International Weak Response

The response of the international community's institutions is seen by many analysts as weak, slow, and not up to the critical human situation in Libya so far.

Many argue that Libya's oil is seemingly more important to the West than Libyans themselves. They say that the oil coming out of Libya to the West is making the western powers unable to take decisive or deterrent actions against the Libyan regime.

The Security Council convened, Feb. 23, seven days after the protests started, and issued a statement that condemned the use of force against the protesters and called for protecting the population and respecting international human laws.

"The Security Council, disgracefully slow in responding to this crisis, has an urgent duty either to establish an international court to try Gaddafi or (more simply) to require the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to investigate and indict him for the massacre of protesters," British veteran analyst Robert Fisk said.

Had such a situation been in Sudan, Iran, or other "unfriendly" country in the world, the Western response would have been more daring and realistic. The International Criminal Court (ICC) would have established a court case, and several investigations against human rights stark violations would have started immediately.

The US and other western powers have to choose between either their economic interests in the Arab region, or the peoples of the region.

The Arab and Western shameful silence may lead to the annihilation of the Libyans at the hands of a man who has gone crazy and is seemingly persistent in destroying his nation in a way similar to Caesar Nero who "burnt Rome down".

 

 

 

Hany Ramadan was former managing editor and staff writer for the "Politics in Depth" section of www.IslamOnline.net, and its current version of OnIslam.net.  He has been working in media for 10 years, most of which spent on researching on the major political issues in the Middle East. He is now writing a dissertation to obtain his Master's degree at the Faculty of Economics and Political Science, Cairo University.c

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