Arab Spring

3rd August 2011 - Egypt - From President to Criminal

When the author of this blog first visited Egypt about 15 years ago he found village people living in mud-brick houses, with a fan to keep cool in the summer, with black and white televisions, if they were lucky an ancient 'phone, and maybe a bicycle.
Now they live in brick and concrete houses, with air conditioning, with colour and satellite television, - even the children have mobile phones, many have computers, and many have cars, or at least a motor-bike.
Hospitals are better, shops are full of copies of designer clothes and most people are decidedly better off.
But the man who led the government which provided these improvements is in a 'cage', awaiting a trial and undoubtedly punishment.
It's unlikely he was responsible for more deaths than the still deeply revered Nasser, and while he and his family were undoubtedly 'corrupt', then so are the majority of the Egyptian people - they always have been - from the time of the Pharaohs, - and probably always will be - the Mubaraks were just corrupt on a presidential scale.
In the civilised world we don't put 83 (?) year old men (even if we think they are murderers) in cages, even before they have been found guilty - so the Egyptian people - who seem to want this - seem to be as barbaric as the so-called 'criminals' whom they are so keen to humiliate and punish.

And punishing Mubarak and his sons will not solve any of Egypt's intractable problems.
The most likely outcome of all this lunacy will probably be a fundamentalist (Salafist) Muslim government, which will topple Egypt into the mire at present occupied by Sudan and Somalia - but then, as the author of this blog has always said - 'the Egyptians are good at shooting themselves in the foot !'

The New Arms of Egypt ?

And as for the much vaunted 'Arab Spring' - it's the beginning of an 'Arab Night' - plunging the whole area into conflict and economic disruption - that is, even more conflict and more economic disruption - which in the end will undoubtedly be unjustly blamed on the West and the Zionists.

23rd August 2011 - Libya

Never trust an Arab ! - Good advice from John Stokes Crawford.

In Libya, as Gaddafi grew old, certain members of his government decided that they didn't want to be passed over as Gaddafi sons took over - and so the broke away - moved to Bengazi - and set up an alternative government. Just another Arab coup.
They said they were creating a democratic, free Libya - but Arabs have no understanding of the words - they only understand the family and the tribe.
All the nonsense about freedom and democracy was simply for Western consumption - a ploy to get money and military support.
Now they have entered Tripoli, claiming to have captured two of Gaddafi's sons, whom they claim they have sent to the International Criminal Court of Justice. - Just another Arab lie !
What should the West do ?
Have nothing to do with these Arab family squables !
Leave them to stew in their own internecine conflicts.

The new dictator of Libya ?

Mustafa Abdul Jalil  (left) (born 1952) is a Libyan politician.
From 2007 to 2011, he was Minister of Justice (unofficially, the Secretary of the General People's Committee) under Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi.
It was he who sentenced to death the Bulgarian nurses.
During the 2011 Libyan civil war, Abdul Jalil has been identified as the Chairman of the National Transitional Council based in Benghazi, which controls much of the country in opposition to Gaddafi in Tripoli.
Now the new, unelected government of Lybia has accused neighbouring Algeria of an 'act of war' - and have declared that they wish to execute Gaddafi by firing squad.

مُعَمَّر القَذَّافِي‎ 
Muʿammar al-Qaḏḏāfī

Muammar al-Gaddafi was raised in a bedouin tent in the desert near Sirt.
According to most conventional biographies, his family belongs to a small tribe of arabized Berbers, the Qadhadhfa.
They are mostly stockherders that live in the Hun Oasis.
According to Gaddafi, his grandfather, Abdessalam Bouminyar, fought against Italian occupation of Libya and died as the "first martyr in Khoms, in the first battle of 1911".
Gaddafi attended a Muslim elementary school as a youth, during which time he was profoundly influenced by major events in the Arab world.
He was passionate about the success of the Palestinians and was deeply disappointed by their defeat to Israeli forces in 1948.
He admired Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser, and looked to him as hero during his rise to power in 1952.
In 1956 Gaddafi took part in anti-Israeli protests during the Suez Crisis.
He finished his secondary school studies under a private tutor in Misrata, concentrating on the study of history.
In Libya, as in a number of other Arab countries, admission to a military academy and a career as an army officer only became available to members of the lower economic strata after independence.
A military career offered an opportunity for higher education, for upward economic and social mobility, and was for many the only available means of political action.

For Gaddafi and many of his fellow officers, who were inspired by Nasser's brand of Arab nationalism, a military career was a revolutionary vocation.
Gaddafi entered the Libyan military academy at Benghazi in 1961 and graduated in the 1965–66 period, along with most of his colleagues from the Revolutionary Command Council (RCC). Gaddafi's association with the Free Officers Movement began as a cadet.
The frustration and shame felt by Libyan officers at the time of Israel's defeat of the Arab armies on three fronts in 1967 fueled their determination to contribute to Arab unity by overthrowing the monarchy.
An early conspirator, Gaddafi began his first plan to overthrow the monarchy while in military college.
Gaddafi pursued further studies in Europe, and false rumors have been propagated with regards to this part of his life—for example Gaddafi did not attend the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, though he did receive further military training in the United Kingdom.
On 1 September 1969 a small group of junior military officers led by Gaddafi staged a bloodless coup d'état (bloodless - unlike the revolution against Gaddafi which has shed an ocean of blood - with the help of the European powers) against King Idris while he was in Turkey for medical treatment.
His nephew, the Crown Prince Sayyid Hasan ar-Rida al-Mahdi as-Sanussi, was formally deposed by the revolutionary army officers and put under house arrest; they abolished the monarchy and proclaimed the Libyan Arab Republic.

Gaddafi looked to Gamal Abdel Nasser as a role model and based his government on Nasser's Egypt.
Gaddafi's ideology was largely based on Nasserism, blending Arab nationalism, aspects of the welfare state, and what Gaddafi termed "popular democracy", or more commonly "direct, popular democracy".
He called this system "Islamic socialism", as he disfavored the atheistic quality of communism. While he permitted private control over small companies, the government controlled the larger ones.
Welfare, "liberation" (or "emancipation" depending on the translation), and education was emphasized.
He also imposed a system of Islamic morals and outlawed alcohol and gambling.

Death of Muʿammar al-Qaḏḏāfī

On 20 October 2011, a National Transitional Council (NTC) official told Al Jazeera that Gaddafi had been captured that day by Libyan forces near his hometown of Sirte.
He had been in a convoy of vehicles that was targeted by a US Predator Missile which was followed by a French air strike on a road about 3 kilometres (2 mi) west of Sirte, killing dozens of loyalist fighters.
Gaddafi survived but was shortly afterwards captured by a rebel militia.
At least four mobile phone videos showed rebels beating Gaddafi and manhandling him on the back of a utility vehicle before his death.
One video pictured Gaddafi sodomized "with some kind of stick or knife" or possibly a bayonet, after his capture.
In another video, he was seen being rolled around on the ground as rebels pulled off his shirt.
Later pictures of his body showed that he had wounds in the abdomen, chest, and head.
A rebel who identified himself as Senad el-Sadik el-Ureybi later claimed to have shot and killed Gaddafi. He claimed to have shot Gaddafi in the head and chest, and that it took half an hour for him to die.
Gaddafi's body was subsequently flown to Misrata and was placed in the freezer of a local market alongside the bodies of Defense Minister Abu-Bakr Yunis Jabr and his son and national security adviserMutassim Gaddafi.
The bodies were put on public display for four days, contrary to Islamic law, with Libyans from all over the country coming to view them.
Many took pictures on their cell phones.