Sunday, September 7, 2008

Lesson One: Don't count on the U.S.

Hafed Al Ghwell

The U.S has lost more of its prestige among Arab democrats this week. The Bush administration has proved once again that you can't count on the US government to honestly reflect its much proclaimed "American ideals and values". Faced with a choice between oil and defending human rights and freedoms, the U.S will always sell out in favor of oil, and do it on the cheap.

Last Friday, the high priestess of America's verbal "commitment to democracy and human rights in the Arab World" came meekly to have dinner with the longest serving Arab despot and one of the world's most barbaric tyrants; Mo'amer El Gaddafi. She came as a treat to the salivating"mad dog of the middle east", as President Regan once described him, for changing into; a still mad but an American leashed dog.

How ironic; it took the worst American administration in modern history, the administration singularly responsible for the decline of America's political and economic power and prestige around the globe, to befriend Gaddafi; the world's most bizarre political figure.

After Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, the failures in Iraq, Lebanon,Palestine, Afghanistan, North Korea, and Iran, this seems to be a befitting end to the 8 years of hubris, incompetence and hypocrisy that has been the hallmark of the Bush presidency. As was the case in each of those shining fiascos, Dr. Rice and her cohorts in the Bush administration, not surprisingly, declared this as another "victory". Too bad her administration is running out of time, or I would have bet that we would also see her in the cave of Osama Bin Laden at one point to kiss and make up, declaring it a victory for "American ideals"and "America's fight against terrorism".

In many ways, however, this visit, a declaration of the total moral bankruptcy and utter hypocrisy of the American political establishment, is good for those in the Arab world still believing that the U.S is a model to be followed and a potential ally for positive change in the region. It's a reminder, as if they need any, that they can not and should not; count on Washington for any help in their fight for freedom and political reform in their countries. Washington, with its oily oil men, will always fail them, and will do so consistently everytime. They can not count on it to help them militarily, as it proved in Iraq, and they can't count on it to help them diplomatically, as it now proved in Libya.

The Gaddafi that Dr. Rice had a "civilized" dinner with last Friday; is the same man who is responsible for killing more Americans than anyone else before Osama bin Laden. The same Gaddafi who hanged Libyans, as young as 17 year olds, live on Libyan television. He is the same man who publicly ordered a mob of his followers to exhume the buried remains of the Libyans he had killed for opposing his regime, and throw their bodies into the sea; again covering the gruesome events on television. The same man who bused school children to watch the rottening bodies of political oponents who were hanged and left in public squares to rot for days. He is the same man who had Libyans interrogated and abused on his state run television channels for nothing more than refusing to be slaves to his tyranny. This is the same man who sent hit squads to assassinate Libyans, opposed to his regime, all over the world and then celebrated the killings publicly in Libya. This is also the same man who still holds scores of Libyans in his dungeons; some are missing for over 30 years.

These are not stories I have heard, these are images I witnessed as a young Libyan growing up in Tripoli in the late 70's and early 80's.

Dr. Rice did not care much about this atrocious human right record during her "historic trip" to make nice with this deranged lunatic. Despite 8 years of sermons about her administration's commitment to democracy, human rights, and freedom in the Arab World, it turned out that the human rights of Libyans are not that important after all. I have no doubt that Libyans will remember very well who sold them out and who stood by them during their 40 years of wondering in the wilderness of Gaddafi's savagery.

While the 100s of American victims of Gaddafi's terrorism have settled for the blood money he paid them from the embezzled coffers of the Libyan people, forgetting all about justice for their loved ones, I doubt his Libyan victims will ever settle for anything less than his blood.

Trust me on this one, the notion of just-revenge runs quite deep in the Libyan culture...

4 comments:

Mahdi Abdallah Abed Al-Senussi said...

Well Osama bin Laden should wait 10-15 years and make a deal with the American government for few few billion dollars.
It is becoming the exceptions that the USA government is very short on morals and principle values. We Libyans must rely and look into ourselves to put an end to this brutal and reign of terror regime of Gaddafi and take our country Libya back. Other countries have done just that...Romania, Albania, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Poland. We Libyans are no exception. Depend on ourselves and Allah wisdom and greatness be with us.

Mahdi AbdallahAbed Al-Senussi said...

Well Osama bin Laden should wait 10-15 years. Like the tyrant Gaddafi make a deal with the American government for few few billion dollars. It is becoming the exceptions that the USA government is very short on morals and principle values. We Libyans must rely and look into ourselves to put an end to this brutal and reign of terror regime of Gaddafi and take our country Libya back. Other countries have done just that...Romania, Albania, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Poland. We Libyans are no exception. Depend on ourselves and Allah wisdom and greatness be with us

a libyan lady said...

To Mr. Senussi,
If our people are to take the plunge they have to be motivated into accepting certain changes .....
Other countries are progressing though at a slower pace than expected.It will take time and hardwork not wishful thinking...

I trust you dont take my comment personal but to heart i.e.
the love of our people and a solution to future generations.

a libyan lady said...

Mr. Al Ghwell,

I must first apologize for having misspelt your name…..

Selling out on the oil is the obvious equation that all kneel to and seek no matter what ideals are brainwashed in to a people when sweet crude is “la soupe du jour” leading the path to an ever materialistic world .

*“Gadaffi who is responsible for killing more Americans than anyone else before Osama Ben Laden…..”

What about the young Americans being killed in Iraq? Ahhh that’s different .Here our super power is implementing ideals and giving the Iraqis a sense of freedom..this my dear sir is hypocrisy at its best !

Can you name an Arab politician or regime that has not been responsible for any killings in order to remain in power??

No parent can give self-esteem to a child and no political leader can bestow it upon a people. The individual must develop it on its own. For this educators must be trained for the sole purpose of motivating our people into acknowledging their needs…

Frankly Mr Al Ghwell, you seem to have a personal issue with Mr. Gaddafi and this alone is of no use as it brings about negativity ,which in turn depresses creativity altogether, something our countrymen are in great thirst of.

I hope you will excuse my long comment and hope you can see things from a different perspective.

I have to conclude by stating that its not the politician but its people who have to make a change to ensure better living standards for generations to come…..

Many thanks.