June 17, 2011
I do have about six blog followers now, so I figure I owe an update. I haven't been posting this last week, or following the Libya news so much. It alternates between pissing me off and depressing me, and still no hope my humble opinions and facts will change anything ... so why am I beating mt head against this wall?
I know why, in the long-run, but the urgency has to go. For whatever reason, I care and it has motivated me to understand, and hopefully to communicate so others can care. But time and again I come up against limits - time, focus, background understanding, reliable information from inside Libya, etc ... Now on top of it I feel really tired in the head, drained as if after a huge task, despite hardly achieving anything on this issue a couple of weeks.
I can't add anything but this at the moment, and then perhaps some simple re-posts. No deep research. I'd still like to see this site be a valuable resource for looking back and understanding, after the fact if not before. But at the moment, don't expect much.
Also, the Lockerbie issue has sucked me back in some. That's an important subset of Libyan history about a bombing that had itself not a lick to do with Libya.
The main thing getting me down is I fear that the government of that framed and demonized country has lost its chance by now to keep anything on their own terms, despite the huge sacrifices and appeasements of the past. Right or wrong, Muammar Gaddafi should have already stepped down, from whatever exactly it is he's elevated on (I'm hazy there). That should have happened weeks ago, while the government there was still half-recognized and still stood a chance of maintaing control in his absence. He should have put himself outside the loop - no orders, he's retired and reclusive, leaving the PM or whoever in charge (again, hazy).
He should even have left the country, as everyone was demanding. Not for good, hopefully, but until some sanity returned and the new system was approved. Sometimes, right or wrong, when armed men hop in your car and threaten you and/or your family, it's best to just get out and let them have it. In some cases, they will have it either way, the difference is only who dies along the way and who lives to try and win the car back.
Further, I thought, non-expert that I am, a temporary partition was the sanest answer to the insane situation forced on Libya by mid-March. Any other solution - that is, any type of immediate re-unification - would put too many people under enemy occupation and sow future strife. Tripoli should have led the way. They'd not fire anywhere east of Brega or so, nor on Misrata, and find a clever way to prove they were pulled back and any more firing was by definition by provocateurs who should be ignored. One way or another, that was always another tricky part that I don't have a ready answer for.
Misrata would eventually return to Western control, following talks and two-way migration of those who belonged on the other side. Full re-unification would be a goal, but a tricky one and some years off.
Regular Libya would keep all on-shore oil and have an even smaller population to feed. Cyrenaica would get the eastern offshore stuff only - the rebels and their NATO backers would learn you don't get rich off of seeking freedom/regime change this way. But they wouldn't starve either, and they'd have time to reflect on what they just did without the excuse of fearing a looming holocaust.
Tripoli should have offered the above concessions in pursuit of partition and been grateful to have survived with anything on their own terms, and used it to quickly bring in that more acceptable system they said they were only months away from anyways. This might have still maintained the best of the al Fatah revolution, still met Libyans' needs as they're accustomed to, maintained at least some true independence from foreign financial control, and still allowed democratic reforms, and civil and human rights reforms. All ideas and even political parties could compete and allow the better-funded and non-demonized Western ones to triumph with trickery, if allowed, but oh well.
Starting all this and proving the cease-fire - if that was even possible - might have removed enough excuses so as to leave NATO naked in its aggression and force them to back down. They'd have to save face, so it'd help to give them something of a victory - "Gaddafi's Libya has lost Gaddafi!" might have done it. It might have avoided the full Wall Street takeover by these American-educated free-marketeers of the rebel Transitional National Council. They've already promised Libya to the men with the guns, and now thanks in part to the Leaders' and/or government's inability to be as flexible enough, the script will keep playing out just as it was written.
It's depressing. But then again, each day brings new ideas and new hope.
Best of luck to the people of Libya, whatever government they wind up under.