Monday, October 24, 2011

Democracy in Libya? Not so fast

The msm is full of news of the fledgling 'democracy' rising from the mass graves of dead bodies in Libya.

The world has watched as NATO and its allies have supported the 'protesters/rebels/insurgents/freedom fighters/alternative government/National Transition Council,' up to, and including, the death of the despot Gadhafi.

The new flag was hoisted, at the UN:

Sep 20, 2011 -

UN raises new flag for Libya

The pre-Gaddafi Libyan flag flies in front of the United Nations headquarters
Image Caption: The pre-Gaddafi Libyan flag flies in front of the United Nations headquarters (Keystone)

The United Nations in Geneva has decided to display a new flag representing Libya’s National Transitional Council (NTC).

In the presence of Libyan UN ambassador Ibrahim Aldredi, the green, black and red flag was hoisted on Tuesday. A small group of Libyans gathered and sang Libya’s new national anthem.

On Friday, the UN’s general assembly decided to recognise the NTC as the official representative of Libya. According to a UN spokeswoman, the flag was raised at the request of the Libyan authorities.

The new flag features a half-moon and a star, and was already the national flag of Libya from 1951-1969. It replaces the green flag of the Moammar Gaddafi regime....(here)

All well and good, and to paraphrase a famous Leonard Cohen song: "Democracy is coming to...Libya."... Really? Even as I write this the CBC is headlining "Today, Libya begins a new road to democracy, human rights..." Really?

The BBC is running headlines like:

Gaddafi death: The bloody birth of a new Libya

The death of Muammar Gaddafi has removed a big problem for this country's transition rulers. It has also imbued the new Libya with original sin it may regret.

The leaders of the National Transitional Council (NTC) during the months of the fight against the colonel often spoke about building a country based on rights, not revenge...(more here)

US calls for independent inquiry as to how Gadhafi died, because that's what democracies do!

However, all is not rosy in Libya. For many months, some have been watching the Libyan 'uprising' with great trepidation. War on Terror News has written many columns on these new 'democracies,' one being The State of the War and The World back in May 2011. WOTN also wrote a long column in February 2011: Who is the Muslim Brotherhood?

NATO may congratulate themselves on a mission accomplished, but by now, some must be asking what shape this 'democracy' in Libya - funded and armed by the rest of us, will take. Back in March 2011:

Libyan rebel commander admits his fighters have al-Qaeda links

Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi, the Libyan rebel leader, has said jihadists who fought against allied troops in Iraq are on the front lines of the battle against Muammar Gaddafi's regime.

Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi, the Libyan rebel leader, has said jihadists who fought against allied troops in Iraq are on the front lines of the battle against Muammar Gaddafi's regime.
Mr al-Hasidi admitted he had earlier fought against 'the foreign invasion' in Afghanistan
Photo: AFP

By , Nick Squires and Duncan Gardham

25 Mar 2011

In an interview with the Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore, Mr al-Hasidi admitted that he had recruited "around 25" men from the Derna area in eastern Libya to fight against coalition troops in Iraq. Some of them, he said, are "today are on the front lines in Adjabiya".

Mr al-Hasidi insisted his fighters "are patriots and good Muslims, not terrorists," but added that the "members of al-Qaeda are also good Muslims and are fighting against the invader".

His revelations came even as Idriss Deby Itno, Chad's president, said al-Qaeda had managed to pillage military arsenals in the Libyan rebel zone and acquired arms, "including surface-to-air missiles, which were then smuggled into their sanctuaries".

Mr al-Hasidi admitted he had earlier fought against "the foreign invasion" in Afghanistan, before being "captured in 2002 in Peshwar, in Pakistan". He was later handed over to the US, and then held in Libya before being released in 2008....

Ooooops! There's more here.

Is there ANYbody shocked by this?

BHO of COURSE had to issue his statement:

WASHINGTON, Oct. 23, 2011 – President Barack Obama congratulated the Libyan people on their Liberation Day, saying the nation is beginning a “new era of promise.”


“On behalf of the American people, I congratulate the people of Libya on today’s historic declaration of liberation,” Obama said in a written declaration released by the White House today. “After four decades of brutal dictatorship and eight months of deadly conflict, the Libyan people can now celebrate their freedom and the beginning of a new era of promise.”

But Obama noted that much hard work remains in Libya. He said the officials of the Transitional National Council must turn their attention to the political transition ahead.

“We look forward to working with the TNC and an empowered transitional government as they prepare for the country’s first free and fair elections,” the president said.

Obama called on Libyan leaders to respect human rights, to reconcile with Gadhafi’s followers and bring together disparate armed groups under government control. He also called on Libyan leaders to secure weapons and dangerous materials. [Yes, emphasis mine]

“As they take these steps, the United States will continue our close cooperation with our international partners and the U.N. support mission in Libya to help advance a stable, democratic transition,” he wrote....(DoD here)

Sounds great, doesn't it?

Not so fast:

Op-Ed: Questions For A New Libya
Oct 23, 2011
By Sadiq Green.

Last Thursday, Libya celebrated the capture and death of longtime ruler Moammar Gadhafi with gunfire and jubilation. Now the work of building a new nation will begin in Libya and all the world will be watching to see what type of new nation emerges.

Questions abound on what's next for Libya beyond the obvious one: What will the new era mean for Libyans, the Middle East, the United States and the world at large? No one can be certain of what is next for Libya or if it will really become a full fledged democracy in the end. Will the future be better for Libyans? Exploring these other questions may provide some answers.

Will Libya descend into civil war? Libya is historically a tribal country with ethnic divisions prone to factional strife and vendettas. During the colonial period, and under Gadhafi’s rule, that was largely suppressed.


Can Libya build a democracy?
Gadhafi's death is clearly a defining moment in the history of the region. Yet it remains to be seen whether the new Libya will be the democratic nation that many western leaders are rooting for. ..


Has NATO created more Islamist enemies? Perhaps the most troubling aspect from the uprising and death of Gadhafi may very well be the emergence of Islamist extremists and other hardliners from within the ranks of the Libyan rebel opposition. Islamist groups have been the biggest winners elsewhere in the Arab uprisings, and they may not necessarily welcome a secular government. Add to that the west and their propensity to turn a blind eye with regards to backing unsavory elements in the short term in order to establish whatever greater goal they're after. There has never been a clear understanding of who the leaders of the rebel movement are and/or whether some of the so-called freedom fighters actually had allegiances with Al-Qaeda and other unsavory groups. There are concerns that the new Western assisted regime will ultimately end up being more anti-west than Gadhafi was. It is not inconceivable that we could see Gadhafi’s regime being replaced by a Sharia regime populated by Al-Qaeda elements.

Gadhafi's death raises more questions than it answers, with perhaps the most pressing being whether can Libyans manage the transition from brutal dictatorship to functioning democracy. They only begin to scratch the surface of what is most assuredly a very historic, exciting and wary time for Libya's people. ...

Much more here, and well worth the read.

And the CBC report I am listening to right now?

[Paraphrasing here]: ...

' ...NTC Officials are saying Libya will be more pious...based on Sharia law. ..

This is bound to raise some eyebrows....'

Ya think? A very wise friend of mine - closely involved in the effort to liberate Libya from Gadhafi - has commented that within ten years Libya will be shooting at us. I am not so optimistic, and figure it will be much sooner than that, before the Sharia law, Islamist extremists of Libya will turn their anger and their weapons on us - their 'liberators.' You know, those weapons that we have given them over these last few months. Yes, we have seen this before.

Demonstrations in Libya of burning the American flag and "down with America" screaming mobs in 3...2...1

Pay attention.

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