There’s not only a struggle in Libya. There is a struggle for Libya and the control of its natural resources. War came when final arrangements for the establishment of a Libya-financed holding company and commercial bank in the OECS were being made; and after Libya agreed to set up an embassy in the Eastern Caribbean. We were about to deepen ties with the motherland and benefit from the wealth of Africa. Plans are on hold.
Why is there war? They say they want to protect Libyan citizens who decided to protest against their government. How many more would die because of NATO intervention? We are told that recent protests mean the government of Libya has lost its legitimacy; but the ½ million people protesting against a coalition government in the United Kingdom could be brushed aside.
We condemn the use of excess force against humanity in no uncertain terms. We denounce the 1988 Lockerbie bombing for which Libya has paid compensation, and the 1976 Cubana Airlines bombing for which no one is apparently guilty. We have no tolerance for terrorism of any kind, including the terrorism of the IRA which was supported by both Libyans and Americans.
Does Britain use UN Security Council Resolution 1973 (2011) on Libya as a pretext for a revenge campaign? Do we attempt to discredit a political system just because it is different? Even amid the suggestion that Colonel Gadaffi is comparable to Queen Elizabeth II?
Let’s recognize that Democracy is not a political system; it is an ideal. Gadaffi’s Green Book, in which he sets out his political ideas, reflects a search for a more meaningful democracy of the masses that is not dominated by parliaments or political parties. We are reminded that the most tyrannical dictatorships the world has known have existed under the aegis of parliaments. Democracy is served by a political system where there are no representatives; people speak in their own name. The Brother Leader says that “True democracy has but one method and one theory. The dissimilarity and diversity of the systems claiming to be democratic do, in fact, provide evidence that they are not so.” So there is no “Democracy” that money could buy. It remains clear, though, that Libya itself has fallen well short of the ideal. Still, it is interesting that even the Rebels resent any encroachment on the sovereignty of Libya.
Important questions remain unanswered. Does Gadaffi have majority support in Libya and Africa? Has he possibly done any good for his country that enjoys the highest ranking by the Human Development Index on the continent?
We have the example of the 1979-1983 Grenada Revolution, which was led by Maurice Bishop and toppled by Imperialism, before us. Bishop knew that the real reason for the attacks on the Revolution was not human rights, but the thinking that it was laying the “basis for a new socio-economic and political path to development” with, according to the CIA, a dangerous appeal to English-speaking African Americans. The American idea, or the American way, was defended by the force of arms and certainly not by the force of truth.
Did NATO allies take advantage of a genuine internal conflict to block Libya’s penetration into the African Diaspora which includes the OECS? Woe be onto a young man who had the benefit of a straightforward handshake? While Nicolas Sarkozy, the President of NATO ally France, is said to have betrayed Gadaffi after a different—and somewhat golden—handshake, I value even simple kindness and believe in a different approach whatever the consequences. We know that Gadaffi, at least of late, was inclined to international cooperation. Couldn’t we make peace and not war? What about the Peace Proposal from Hugo Chavez?
I am yet to make a definitive historical judgment of Muammar Gadaffi, but I know that, whatever the outcome in Libya, you can’t kill his ideas nor deny his leadership significance.
R. T. Luke V. Browne is a West Indian politician and writer based in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Send reviews to firstname.lastname@example.org.