Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Libya is next?

Well the revolt has continued to gain momentum throughout the Arab and African regions. Bahrain has seen its Shia majority demanding a fair share of there nation from there Sunni Autocrats, and its King appears to have killed any chance of a compromise when he took part in a clamp down against protesters that left several dead. Iran was also in the firing lines, though despite wishful thinking its doubtful at present that the current protests will be anything over then a repeat of the election demonstrations as the Greens unlike the revolts in Egypt, and Tunisia do not have the support of the poor, they are instead a coalition of the wealthy urban elites who are resentful of the constraints the Islamic Republic places on there personal liberties both economic and social, and are lead by on of the Republic's key strong man whom carried out one of the regimes worst atrocities in 1988. Though the continued use of armed suppression should at least take the polish off the regimes moral legitimacy.

But the big story is of course concerning the great dictator of the Mediterranean, Gaddafi of Libya. It looks like this is the end for the "Islamic Socialist" demagogue. After weeks of escalating protests and violence the Libyan government has turned to the last resort to prop up a crumbling Autocracy the bayonet. The military has been ordered to crush the protests and his son Saif Gaddafi went on television to announce a fight to the last man. "Now comes the role of the National Guard and the Army, we will not lose one inch of this land. 60 years ago they defended Libya from the colonialists, now they will defend it from drug addicts. Most of he Libyans are intelligent, they are not Baltagiya (thugs) Benghazi is a million and a half not the few thousands who are in the streets. We will flight to the last man and woman and bullet. We will not lose Libya. We will not let Al Jazeera, Al Arabiya and BBC trick us.

We will live in Libya and die in Libya." And even that appears to be failing him. Two Air-force Colonels have taken there jets and scarpered over the sea to Malta, not only is the loss of two senior military officers an embarrassment but it confirmed reports that the Air Force has been ordered to bomb rebelling towns and settlements. The second city Benghazi has effectively fallen and all is far from well in the capital. Another severe embarrassment is that the Libyan diplomatic corps is also in revolt, at present the diplomatic revolt includes Malaysia, Morocco and India as well as most of the staff at the U.N. including its deputy. This perhaps even more so then the defections from the military could severely undermine the regime to the point of collapse, diplomats and ambassadors are crucial to creating to creating a favourable image of a nation and its government to the international community and given there high level access have information on at least some of the skeletons in the regimes cupboard like for example the prison massacre .

Of course had this occurred back in the 1980's or 1990's the diplomats defecting wouldn't matter to much, after all, the regime was close to pariah status after the US and UK blamed Lockerbie on the Libyan government, what few states that did support Libya where part of the anti-imperialist camp and probably would stick with Libya regardless out of a group survival instinct. However in the early 2000's that all changed, Europe particularly Berlusconi and Blair where keen to re-rehabilitate Libya in the eyes of the international community why do this for an old foe, especially since this was the war on terror and Libya had been caught arming the IRA and the aforementioned Lockerbie attack? well it had less to do with an spirit of forgiveness and more to do with the fact that Libya is a mostly untapped energy giant just sitting in Europe's doorstep. Well to fair it wasn't just oil, Italy was able to use Libya as a dumping ground for its illegal immigrants and refugees, where I'm sure they received the best in humane treatment. Despite the cynical nature of big business this does at least mean that Libya has become dependent on economic ties, which are now in danger of being severed, so overall it looks like his days are numbered.

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