Gaddafi is a fucking dictator. He has ruled Libya for more than 42 years. He has given no freedom to his people to do anything or say anything that might affect his rule. Everything in Libya is tightly controlled by him and his government (mostly consisting of his family and friends) with the help of his notorious secret police. He has used the “revolution” to stay in power for 42 years and anyone opposing him is against the revolution and is a friend of the “American imperialists”.
Foreign threat is what almost all dictators seem to be using to stay in power. Even in Bahrain, their King who brought in a foreign army to stay in power seems to be talking about an “international conspiracy” against his rule. Iran may have influenced protests to a certain extent there but blaming the protests entirely on foreigners, while remaining in power with the support of a foreign army is just hypocritical.
Back to Gaddafi, I read reports from Tripoli that the secret police have been visiting schools and asking children (as young as 8 ) what channels their parents are watching. Apparently those watching Al Jazeera or Al Arabiya are “traitors” in Libya and if by any chance the kids mention these channels, God bless their families.I’m happy I wasn’t born in Libya. Living a life of fear is just out dated and I just wouldn’t survive there. But what the Americans, the British & the French are now doing in Libya is nothing but dirty.
Protesters in Bahrain have been shot at by the security forces and the US doesn’t say much. There is a major US naval base in Bahrain. But with Libya the situation has been difficult for western governments. Many western oil firms have invested heavily in Libya and criticising Gaddafi would mean pulling out of Libya if he manages to quench the unrest. Staying mum and not criticising gaddafi is being in the wrong side of Gaddafi’s rebels and facing possible consequences if Gaddafi is over thrown. the west generally favours democracy and freedom of expression, but not at the expense of its national security. So they decided to support the rebels
But, the west got it completely wrong when it assumed Gaddafi has no loyal forces to fight for him. He seems to have thousands of supporters and and just when he was going to bring Libya back under his control, the “no fly zone” ( just a synonym for war) comes in to place. The west just couldn’t afford Gaddafi to win. It would mean lack of oil supply, a new nuclear threat and another hard line anti-western state. But, action to prevent those is costing western governments millions of dollars every day and there seems to be no unity amongst the allied forces on the objective of the operation.
But, why only interfere in Libya? why not support protesters in Yemen or Bahrain?. While I would love to see Gaddafi leaving, I hate to see Western countries interfering in Libya for their(the west) own benefits. This spoils the motivation foe locals to support uprising against dictators and plays into the hands of tyrants’ propaganda. It simply undermines the efforts of local rebels. But what else could have been done. What if the west did nothing at all? Only time will tell which would have been/was the right thing to do.
Now to some comedy, I saw pictures of a protest in Colombo against military action in Libya organised by none other than Wimal Weerawansa’s Jathika Nidhahas Peramuna(JNP). Weerawansa’s supporters need to get a life & a job!