Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Libya & Direct Democracy

After popular movements overturned the rulers of Tunisia and Egypt, its immediate neighbours to the west and east, Libya experienced a full-scale revolt beginning in February 2011.[23][24] By 20 February, the unrest had spread to Tripoli. In the early hours of 21 February 2011, Seif al-Islam, oldest son of Muammar Gaddafi, spoke on Libyan television of his fears that the country would fragment and be replaced by "15 Islamic fundamentalist emirates" if the uprising engulfed the entire state. He warned that the country's economic wealth and recent prosperity was at risk, admitted that "mistakes had been made" in quelling recent protests and announced that a constitutional convention would begin on 23 February. This convention would have the aim of reforming and democratising the constitution.[citation needed] Shortly after this speech, the Libyan Ambassador to India announced on BBC Radio 5 live that he had resigned in protest at the "massacre" of protesters.

Rumours began to circulate as to the whereabouts of Gaddafi, with unsubstantiated sources claiming that he had fled the country, possibly to Venezuela.[25][26] Gaddafi appeared on Libyan state TV to deny these rumours, stating "I want to show that I'm in Tripoli and not in Venezuela. Do not believe the channels belonging to stray dogs".[27] Two Libyan Air Force colonels flew their F-1 Mirage jets to Malta and defected after refusing orders to bomb protesters

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Libya (Arabic: ‏ليبيا‎‎ Lībiyā), officially the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya (Arabic: الجماهيرية العربية الليبية الشعبية الإشتراكية العظمى‎‎ Al Jamāhīriyyah al 'Arabiyyah al Lībiyyah aš Ša'biyyah al Ištirākiyyah al 'Uẓmā), is a country located in the Maghreb region of northern Africa. Bordering the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Libya lies between Egypt to the east, Sudan to the south east, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west.

With an area of almost 1,800,000 square kilometres (700,000 sq mi), Libya is the fourth largest country in Africa by area, and the 17th largest in the world.[4] The capital, Tripoli, is home to 1.7 million of Libya's 6.4 million people. The three traditional parts of the country are Tripolitania, Fezzan, and Cyrenaica. Libya has the highest HDI in Africa and the fourth highest GDP (PPP) per capita in Africa as of 2009, behind Seychelles, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. These are largely due to its large petroleum reserves and low population.[5][6] Libya is one of the 10 richest oil producing countries.

Independent since 1951, Libya has been ruled from 1969 to the present by Muammar al-Gaddafi, who rose to power in a military coup. Still ongoing anti-government mass protests began in the country in mid-February 2011

Muammar al-Gaddafi

Muammar Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi(Arabic: معمر القذافي‎ Muʿammar al-Qaḏḏāfī About this sound audio (help·info); also known simply as Colonel Gaddafi; born 7 June 1942) has been the leader of Libya since a coup in 1969.[1]

On 1 September 1969, a small group of junior military officers led by Gaddafi staged a bloodless coup d'état against King Idris while he was in Turkey for medical treatment. His nephew, the Crown Prince Sayyid Hasan ar-Rida al-Mahdi as-Sanussi, had been formally deposed by the revolutionary army officers and put under house arrest; they abolished the monarchy and proclaimed the new Libyan Arab Republic.

From 1972, when Gaddafi relinquished the title of prime minister, he has been accorded the honorifics "Guide of the First of September Great Revolution of the Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya" or "Leader and Guide of the Revolution" in government statements and the official press.[2] With the death of Omar Bongo of Gabon on 8 June 2009, he became the longest serving of all current non-royal national leaders and he is one of the longest serving rulers in history. He is also the longest-serving ruler of Libya since Libya, then Tripoli, became an Ottoman province in 1551.

Gaddafi based his new regime on a blend of Arab nationalism,[10][11] aspects of the welfare state,[12][13][14] and what Gaddafi termed "popular democracy",[15] or more commonly "direct, popular democracy". He called this system "Islamic socialism", and, while he permitted private control over small companies, the government controlled the larger ones. Welfare, "liberation" (or “emancipation” depending on the translation),[16] and education[17] were emphasized. He also imposed a system of Islamic morals,[18][19] outlawing alcohol and gambling. Like previous revolutionary figures of the 20th century such as Mao and his Little Red Book, Gaddafi outlined his political philosophy in his Green Book to reinforce the ideals of this socialist-Islamic state and published in three volumes between 1975 and 1979.

n 1977, Gaddafi proclaimed that Libya was changing its form of government from a republic to a "jamahiriya" – a neologism that means "mass-state" or "government by the masses". In theory, Libya became a direct democracy governed by the people[20] through local popular councils and communes.[21] At the top of this structure was the General People's Congress,[22] with Gaddafi as secretary-general. However, after only two years, Gaddafi gave up all of his governmental posts in keeping with the new egalitarian philosophy.

Gaddafi followed Gamal Abdel Nasser's ideas of pan-Arabism and became a fervent advocate of the unity of all Arab states into one Arab nation. He also supported pan-Islamism, the notion of a loose union of all Islamic countries and peoples. After Nasser's death on 28 September 1970, Gaddafi attempted to take up the mantle of ideological leader of Arab nationalism. He proclaimed the "Federation of Arab Republics" (Libya, Egypt, and Syria) in 1972, hoping to create a pan-Arab state, but the three countries disagreed on the specific terms of the merger. In 1974, he signed an agreement with Tunisia's Habib Bourguiba on a merger between the two countries, but this also failed to work in practice and ultimately differences between the two countries would deteriorate into strong animosity.
(source: extract from wikipedia)

So far, after the Tunisian uprising, and the contagion of civilian unrest spread to many Middle East countries and North African countries; Libya is the most violent response from the ruling government. The dictator Col Muammar Gaddafi make use of his own mercenaries or so called "Gaddafi's death squads", mainly employed from the African countries, to open fire on civilian. The use of military plans to bomb the civilian objects, are the sign of struggle to hold on to the power.

The following are report extracted from article "Gaddafi urges violent showdown and tells Libya 'I'll die a martyr", dated 22-2-2011, The statement revealed the full color of the dictator for the 41 years in Libya.

"Muammar Gaddafi set the stage for a violent, final showdown to crush Libya's popular uprising by urging loyalists to take to the streets to fight "greasy rats" in the pay of enemies ranging from the US to al-Qaida.

In an angry, ranting and often incoherent speech, the beleaguered Libyan leader ignored evidence of repression and bloodshed, including new reports of death squads, to insist that he would die in his homeland rather than flee abroad.

"I am not going to leave this land," Gaddafi vowed in a live broadcast on state TV. "I will die as a martyr at the end … I shall remain, defiant. Muammar is leader of the revolution until the end of time."

Speaking in front of the Tripoli compound bombed by US planes in 1986, he invoked the spirit of resistance to foreign powers and warned that the US could occupy Libya like Afghanistan. He claimed protesters were on hallucinogenic drugs and wanted to turn Libya into an Islamic state. They deserved the death penalty, he said, waving his Green Book".

Libyan are the bravest, of all the various Jasmine Uprising contagion events; they faced the most dangerous situation, and yet were courageous to take up the challenge for their future. Hat off to them, and wish that they will all succeeded to have a new life and new government in Libya. Many may have disappeared and never return, they have lost their lives. It is the most violent struggle by the dictator, they open fire to civilian, they use military plane to bomb the civilian objects....what a demon in the dictator, the "direct, popular democracy", it is actually demon go his own definition of democracy....

It let us open an eye on the meaning of democracy, western, social or any form; is there a real democracy if the system is not for the people for the love of mankind. It can be any form, the political system must be for the betterment of mankind....not only form but substance...

If you look at global politic, the dictatorial system survived because of superpowers playing dirty political games, for the benefits of their respective global strategy. Democratic governments support dictatorship, to indirectly help to suppress the people, allow them to be deprived of their basic human right when they are the human right advocates in their own country. But for the sake of their global strategy, strategic positions, petroleum politic; they exercise double standards and closed their eyes on the suffering of the people of the country of the dictator they supported. The democracy and human right policy is different in home policy and foreign policy where there are always hidden agenda.....

......just look at the political history of the Libya, you can see how the superpowers played their roles to continue support the dictatorship.... and this is the people, the ordinary people, the young people, who have been longing for the days of freedom(especially information freedom), that exploded at the same time, and spread as contagion effect to every hearts of ordinary people, that stand up and fight for their basic human right....

1. In August 2003, two years after Abdelbaset al-Megrahi's conviction, Libya wrote to the United Nations formally accepting 'responsibility for the actions of its officials' in respect of the Lockerbie bombing and agreed to pay compensation of up to US$2.7 billion – or up to US$10 million each – to the families of the 270 victims. The same month, Britain and Bulgaria co-sponsored a UN resolution which removed the suspended sanctions

In March 2004, British PM Tony Blair became one of the first Western leaders in decades to visit Libya and publicly meet Gaddafi. Blair praised Gaddafi's recent acts, and stated that he hoped Libya could now be a strong ally in the international War on Terrorism. In the run-up to Blair's visit, the British ambassador in Tripoli, Anthony Layden, explained Libya's and Gaddafi's political change thus:

"35 years of total state control of the economy has left them in a situation where they're simply not generating enough economic activity to give employment to the young people who are streaming through their successful education system. I think this dilemma goes to the heart of Colonel Gaddafi's decision that he needed a radical change of direction."[47]

2. On 15 May 2006, the US State Department announced that it would restore full diplomatic relations with Libya, once Gaddafi declared he was abandoning Libya's weapons of mass destruction program. The State Department also said that Libya would be removed from the list of nations supporting terrorism.[48] On 31 August 2006, however, Gaddafi openly called upon his supporters to "kill enemies" of his revolution and anyone who asks for political change within Libya.

3. In July 2007, French president Nicolas Sarkozy visited Libya and signed a number of bilateral and multilateral (EU) agreements with Gaddafi.

4. In October 2008 Libya paid $1.5 billion into a fund which will be used to compensate relatives of the

1. Lockerbie bombing victims with the remaining 20%;
2. American victims of the 1986 Berlin discotheque bombing;
3. American victims of the 1989 UTA Flight 772 bombing; and,
4. Libyan victims of the 1986 US bombing of Tripoli and Benghazi.

As a result, President Bush signed Executive Order 13477 restoring the Libyan government's immunity from terror-related lawsuits and dismissing all of the pending compensation cases in the US, the White House said.[

5. On 30 August 2008, Gaddafi and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi signed a historic cooperation treaty in Benghazi.[54][55][56] Under its terms, Italy will pay $5 billion to Libya as compensation for its former military occupation. In exchange, Libya will take measures to combat illegal immigration coming from its shores and boost investments in Italian companies.[55][57] The treaty was ratified by Italy in 6 February 2009,[54] and by Libya on 2 March, during a visit to Tripoli by Berlusconi

(source: wikipedia)

Not the "human right advocates", not the "democracy champions"; where are their voices? they still want the dictators they supported to continue, to continue support the status quo, not to adversely affect their benefits in the countries, especially petrol right, arms sales, military position etc, or whatever their hiden agenda.....

The so called "human right advocates", the "democracy champion" are silence this time; the outlook of the events may be adversely affect their global strategic plan of their respective countries.........this time their strategists failed them....they are all surprise by the events, and got caught pants off....

Beware of Pseudo freedom, false democracy....they served a different master...

Related articles

1. Gaddafi urges violent showdown and tells Libya 'I'll die a martyr',
2. Muammar al-Gaddafi,
3. The Green Book,
4. Libya,

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