Libya Blog

Thursday, February 09, 2006

A reaction that is worst than the cartoonish insult

I have attempted in a different blog to post a comment regarding the controversy of the "Danish Cartoons" (mediachannel.org/blog/node/3182?from=50&comments_per_page=50). The first posting fell victim to censorship which proved my point exactly. And my point was that these editorial cartoons had no ligitimate point to convey except to express the editors/cartoonists bigotry. I wrote that had the subject of these cartoons been Jews or Jewish matter the guilt filled anti-Semites in Europe would have been up in arms and the editors responsible would have been burned on a stake and no one would have risen in their support.

It seems that the "civilized" people in the developed world (the West) must always have some other race or group of people to pick on, torture, burn, or bury in mass graves. In the past few centuries it was mostly the Jews, but now it is mostly the Arabs and Muslims. As a result of the holocaust and the sequelae of WW-II and the rising influence of American Jews, persecuting Jews was no longer an option.

The search for a suitable victim-race was in earnest when the tragedy of 9-11 occurred, a destructive act of terrorism conceived and executed by a bunch of deranged "muslim" fanatics who had obviously undergone a thorough brainwashing. Since that point the targeting of Arabs and Muslims (or anyone that fits the physical profile) became acceptable regardless of their citizenship or where they lived. As always it is first necessary to dehumanize and demonize the new enemy. This is accomplished using the usual tools, primarily the media including the movies, but also newspapers and cartoons. The cartoons in question are the Scandinavian contribution to this western endeavor, because as I have already pointed out, these cartoons have no moral or political or social value to convey to the Scandinavian citizen or to muslims worldwide. The only apparent purpose was to mock and provoke for the purpose of demonizing and dehumanizing the new enemy.

Unfortunately, Muslims these days are their own worst enemies. In my view, the most effective response to these cartoons was simply to ignore them totally and completely, without however losing sight of the more important aspects of the relationships between the Muslims and Europe or between Muslims and the US, and that is the actual practical policies of these governments and how they affect the lives of Muslims and their most dear causes. The most important of these causes is DEMOCRACY and FREEDOM OF SPEECH. Hypocritical European and American leaders who preach democracy while at the same time sponsor and support the dictators in Muslim nations should have caused Muslims to demonstrate day and night all over the world to expose and condemn their hypocracy and force them to stop propping these decaying despots.
Instead, local dictators as well as Western leaders exploited these violent demonstrations for their own political purposes. Gadhafi, for instance, withdraw his ambassodor from Copenhagen to show that he has the fortitude to stand up to an European country in an attempt to compensate for his total capitulation to the US & the UK over the past three years. Whereas, the Bush administration is using this issue to intensify its pressure on both Iran and Syria.

The violent demonstrations that were supposedly spontaneous and provoked by the publication of these cartoons serve only to strengthen the steotypes of the backward and violent muslim that are promoted by the Westren media, not to mention the fact that this irrational reaction is contrary to the true Islamic tradition of tolerance.

In addition, this reaction betrays a great deal of insecurity on part of the demonstrating muslims. A nation confident and secure in its values and faith would not be shaken so violently by mere drawings on disposable paper that would be eventually recycled into toilet paper.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Gadhafi and independent media


"Libya said on Friday that it is heading toward allowing private newspapers, radio and television news in what has been a state-controlled media environment for more than 30 years.

Libyan leader Muammar Qadhafi's son, Seif Al Islam, who also runs the Qadhafi Goodwill Foundation, was given the green light by his father to spearhead the plan though a new company.

"The first experimental program on one of the radio stations will take place in March," said Abdel Salam Al Mushri, an official at the company, which is called "1/9" in reference to the September 1 date of the 1969 Libyan revolution.

"Preparations are underway to create a satellite television channel that will be launched in 2007," he said.
....etc." www.metimes.com/articles/normal.php?StoryID=20060130-105426-2462r

Some independent media!!
Gadhafi and his regime have always been a study in paradox and irony. These supposedly independent media companies will be financied, we are informed, by the Gadhafi treasury (formerly known as the Libyan government treasury or the people's money) because this alledged "Goodwill Foundation" headed by his son and apparent heir has only one source of money, the stat treasury (i.e., Libya's oil revenues.)
This is not a charity organization in the traditional sense; it is an usuriously expensive PR device created to carry out specific missions on the international stage with the sole purpose of improving Gadhafi's image, which has been mangled up by decades of terrorism and human rights violations at home and abroad. www.libya-watanona.com/news/n2006/jan/n26jan6e.htm

This socalled 1/9 company of course will be dedicated to spreading the "Green Book" gospel and promoting the visionary leadership of the one and only leader of the planet just like the other Gadhafi media mouth piece already in existence. The only significant difference is that the new "independent" channel will be adorned with Libanese (not Libyan) beauties specially imported from the eclectic night clubs of Beirut.

Besides, if Gadhafi is having a major change of heart regarding free speach to such a degree that he decided to allow "Independent Media" to operate freely in Libya, why did he then assemble and continues to maintain such a major jamming operation in outskirts of Tripoli to prevent certain satellite signals from reaching the Libyan audience?
(www.libya-watanona.com/letters/v2006a/v16jan6b.htm)
That was actually a rhetorical question. We know that this is all a sham. Dictators cannot allow truly independent media just like aspiring dictators would do anything to punish journalist who dare ask the wrong questions.

There is howerver a silver lining in this story .... Gadhafi and his followers are not capable of success on any front except in oppressing their own people. Their entire history has been a series of failure. This adventure will be a failure and a drain on the "Gadhafi Treasury", and it will not take long before HE will think of some other "original" idea.... which will of course provide the ultimate solution to the many dilemmas of human existence.


Thursday, January 26, 2006

It is Time to Let Go of Dictators and Let Us Begin with Ghadhafi

This was my reaction when I read this news:

"Two Get Prison in Exports to Syria, Libya
DALLAS -- Two brothers convicted of sending exports from their U.S. company to countries considered sponsors of terrorism were sentenced Wednesday to federal prison, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.
Hazim Elashi was sentenced to 5 1/2 years in prison and will be deported after serving his sentence. His brother Ihsan "Sammy" Elashi was given a six-year term, which will run consecutively to the four-year sentence he is currently serving. Hazim and Ihsan Elashi, their three brothers and their company were convicted in 2004 on charges of making illegal technology shipments to Libya and Syria."


So, let me get this: as recently as 2004 Libya was a sponsor of terrorism (and still officially is) and its ruler (Ghadhafi) was viewed as a really bad dictator, among the worst in the world. However, today Ghadhafi and the rest of the gang "governing" Libya are considered by the morally immaculate European leaders and our own Democracy Crusadors in Washington as model world citizenzs after surrendering "WMD programs" and going above and beyond the call of international duty to cooperate with Washington in its "War on Terrorism". I can not imagine what majic potion Ghaddafi and his gang were given to undergo such a radical metamorphosis, but it is really worth looking into given the fact that we have at least a dozen viscious dictators left in the "Arab World".
Forgotten are the unspeakable crimes Ghadhafi committed against innocent civilians and defenseless political prisoners and journalists:
  • Lockerbie disaster (1988-12-21): Pan Am Flight 103 exploded over the town of Lockerbie as a result of a terrorist bomb. Two hundred and seventy people died in that disaster (11 on the ground and 259 on the plane). Until the September 11, 2001 attacks, the bombing of Flight 103 was the worst act of terrorism against US civilian citizens in recorded history.
  • Libyan Airline flight 1103 (1992-12-22) exploded over Tripoli killing all 150 passengers and crew.
  • The French UTA airliner exploding over Niger killing all on board
  • La Bielle Club in Berlin, Germany
to mention only a few and only those events affecting mostly non-Libyans.
Ghadhafi's crimes against Libyans are far more costly in terms of human lives and human rights. His brutality is not matched even by Saddam's. Suffice it to mention the "Abo-Sleem" masscre in which, in June 1996, prison guards under direct orders from Ghadhari shot in broad daylight over 1000 mostly political prisoners and buried them in mass graves.

Today, Ghadhafi continues to make the lives of ordinary Libyans unbearable, trampling on their basic liberties and depriving them of their most basic needs in a country with a population of only 5 million people and exporting oil at a rate of approximately 2 million barrels/day in addition to a growing natural gas export. In Ghadhafi's happy kingdom trickle-down economics does not work ( see a snapshot of the home in Benghazi, the 2nd lagest city in Libya).

And yet the Ghadhafi regime is now being nurtured with tender loving care by the Bush administration. In fact Ghadhafi now feels that he can do whatever he likes with Libyans and their human rights and properties even if it means negatively affecting American interest and American property. See this letter written by Libayan Americans to US senators (www.libya-watanona.com/letters/v2006a/v16jan6b.htm)

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Libya continues to trample on human rights


Although I see no compelling reason to offer a justification for initiating this blog, I am probably driven by the same motives and factors as most political bloggers, namely frustration with the socalled main stream media which at least in the US have been hijacked by special interest groups and neocons. To continue to work and advance in these media companies journalists must abandon the most basic rules of professional conducted and even the mere pretence of objectivity. In addition, when it comes to the areas of the "Middle East" and "North Africa" and Arab related issues in general there is a great deal of deliberate misinformation as well as genuine ignorance. For this reason this blog is directed at American and European audiences and written in English.

I will attempt to gather news and articles related to Libya and if necessary offer a brief commentary or correction from my point of view.

Human rights (or lack thereof) in Libya is good place to start. Hannah Allam writes:
A leading human rights organization warned Wednesday that Libya's cooperation in the international war on terror and other recent overtures to the West shouldn't overshadow the country's continued use of intimidation and torture to stifle political expression at home.
The country Moammar Gadhafi has ruled for nearly three decades is still plagued by severe human rights abuses, despite Libya's efforts to shed its pariah status by renouncing weapons of mass destruction, paying compensation to victims of Libyan terrorists and working closely with the United States and Britain to prevent attacks, according to an 80-page report prepared by Human Rights Watch.
Details here:
http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/world/13710330.htm