Tag Archives: Gaddafi

Gaddafi dead? Or Alive?

We don’t need any more sanctimoniously hypocritical nonsense about whether or not Gaddafi was “murdered in cold blood” or whatever….

Admittedly, because Gaddafi was not taken alive, the legal profession has missed-out on yet another Lawyer Bonanza – this one would have lasted YEARS. So perhaps a gunshot to the head was the best way to have dealt with old Muammar.

The fact is that when, on August 24th 2011, a Benghazi businessman offered a reward of £1 million for Gaddafi “dead or alive”, there was little chance of the Old Dictator ever having an Idi Amin-type retirement in Saudi.

I remember thinking at the time of the reward announcement, that it was a tad undignified and not very statesmanlike of  Mustafa Abdel Jalil, Chairman of the National Transition Council of Libya, to endorse the reward for Gaddafi’s head. Especially as Jalil used to be  Libya’s Minister of Justice.

Mind you, Jalil had been the very first senior Libyan politician to resign from Gaddafi’s gang  (February 2011). That resulted in The Gaddafi regime offering a bounty of  $400,000, for his capture.

Two days before supporting  the  “dead or alive” approach to Gaddafi, Jalil had said that people must “not take justice into their own hands”. He had also said that he hoped the dictator would be “captured alive.”

THAT will be Jalil’s big problem – how to prevent Libyan citizens from taking justice into their own hands.

Most will be pretty neutral on the “Democracy – no Democracy issue”. What they really want are the trappings of Western-style affluence.

So, once the big guns have been unbolted from the Toyota pickups and the AK47s handed-in and all 150 Libyan tribes decided to live in harmony – all will be well.

Otherwise, there will be a quite sudden slide into Iraq-type chaos as fundamentalists  in oversized vests start going “boom” in crowded places.

(Looks as if Libya is about to receive its very first lesson in Western-style Democracy. The United Nations Human Rights office has called for an  “full investigation”  into Gaddafi’s death. Their very first Inquiry! Witnesses, statements, cross-examinations……..not a bad consolation prize for the Lawyers!)


Morton’s Fork lives!

Libya

Post-Saddam-type chaos in Libya will NOT be avoided. That’s nigh-on impossible.

One of the overlooked plans of the Iraq campaign was the Exit Strategy. Well, bugger me, the West has done it again in Libya.

The next major initiative will be the customary “Humanitarian Assistance” which is as good an excuse as any to maintain a military presence to ensure that the fuzzy-wuzzies keep in line.

THAT is going to be the most impossible task. The average Libyan’s loyalties are like this: 1. Family 2. Tribe  3. State Flag…….. In that order.

NOTHING but a totalitarian state can keep tribal factions in line. Government by Brutality appears to be the only way to stop tribes from killing each other. Saddam demonstrated that in Iraq and every other  state in the Middle East continues to suppress its people – but for very valid reasons.

Democracy is an anathema to tribal people. It is an alien concept.

In Libya’s case, the theory is that a fiefdom which has controlled many tribes through the medium of suppression can be turned into a democracy. Politicians may not have yet noticed that such a thing has never been done. It’s been tried on many occasions but so far, without success.

The most likely outcome in Libya is either the emergence of another authoritarian leader or the breakup of a country which was a western construct in the first place. It is a politically barren place with no political parties or constitution.

Meanwhile, the rebels are heading for Gaddafi City – SIRTE. One hopes that they all remember that the Tahoura Research Centre near Tripoli houses (or housed) the remnants of Libya’s nuclear programme. There are stocks of nuclear material which could easily be turned into a “dirty” bomb.

There has already been a half-hearted attempt to launch a Scud missile so hopefully, the rebels do not, once again find themselves on the receiving end, should Gaddafi supporters decide to surprise them.

Luckily, the BBC’s John Simpson has finally arrived in Libya – so all should be well. We don’t yet know whether he travelled across the desert with the Tuaregs or whether he is wearing the customary tea-towel on his head but after hearing of his exploits in Afghanistan, it’s possible. He’ll know what to do.

Meanwhile the next battle that  into which new Libyan Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril will have to lead his people will be the rather unedifying soon-to-be-fought campaign for Libyan reconstruction.

The cue for the Western  invasion is the phrase “Humanitarian Catastrophe”. Look out for that one.

p.s. The politicians appear to be surprised by the fact that, in spite of the announcement that the war in Libya  had been won, the fighting appears to be continuing. Just like Iraq.

Guru

There appear to be more and more self-appointed “GURUS”  on the Internet:  Finance Guru, Lifestyle Guru, Management Guru….the list is endless.

I used to be one of those but luckily managed to extract my head from my ass before it was too late.

Please don’t do it.

I now prefer the more modest “Messiah”.

BBC

Yesterday, I was listening to the BBC World Service when I was surprised to hear  a presenter use the word “Asyla” as a plural of Asylum. WTF? People who do that are nothing but pretentious scrota.

World Finance

Tomorrow, if Ben Bernanke announces that the Fed is going to print yet more “empty” dollars, he will be introducing yet more inflation into the US economy. Markets will recommence their downward slide and investors will all rush-off  in the direction of the  Bullion Markets.

If however,  there is no further printing of dollars and QE3 does not happen, the likelihood is that the American economy will collapse as investors all rush off in the direction of the Bullion Markets.

Either way, gold is the safest bet.

Meanwhile in Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel is also between a rock and a hard place. If she agrees to fully support lame-duck Euro economies through the issue of the Euro Bond – so that countries such as Greece are able to enjoy unlimited credit at reasonable rates, she risks a rebellion back home from the Christian Democratic Party as well as from an electorate which does not wish to donate any more to broken Euro economies.

However, if there is no mechanism to support poorer Euro states, the Euro could collapse, together with the German economy.

By the way, it is time to start worrying about the world’s Stock Markets. Starting tomorrow.

Liberal Party

Today, Liberals are UP(!) 4% in the latest opinion poll. Does that mean that there may be a change of plan in Nick Clegg being handed a sexy European Parliament  job as a consolation prize after the 2015 General Election?

In response to emails concerning my dog…

I am sick and tired of receiving questions about my dog who mauled an illegal immigrant, two rappers, a hoodie-looter with hanging-past-the-crack tracksuit bottoms , three Sub-continent customer service clerks speaking broken English, one Member of Parliament, two policemen, three flag burners and a  taxi driver.

FOR THE LAST TIME…THE DOG IS NOT FOR SALE !

Those Swiss!

Press release from HM Treasury: http://bit.ly/oIgJbo

GCSE Results

Record results! Congratulations kids – another record year. You must have worked SOOO hard.

Here’s something for the cleverer ones to colour-in:

Survival of the Weakest?

Usually when there is any battle between two factions, the stronger of the two wins. It triumphs because there are more of them, they are better organised or have better equipment.

This is NOT the case in Libya. Without the NATO intervention, there is absolutely NO WAY that the so-called rebels would have conquered Gaddafi’s army.  NATO had to provide air support and effectively fight most of the battle as the rebels careered up and down the road in their Toyota pickups firing their guns into the air and posing for macho pictures.

So what happens now? Does NATO continue to hold the rebels’ hands? Once NATO backs off and the Gaddafi supporters wake up, they will soon realise that it would not take much of an effort to overwhelm the former rioters.

There are scores to be settled, relative seniorities to be re-established and government coffers to be plundered.

Tribal leaders will want to make sure that their people are heard at government level. Women will want to continue to be heard and respected.

For instance, it is only since 1969 that women’s rights have been on the agenda. Under Gaddafi’s predecessor King Idris, even the education of women was frowned upon and positively discouraged.

Without NATO, the rebels who appear to have Allah (but more importantly, NATO) on their side are a bit like the bespectacled playground wimp who has been adopted by the school bully. He can say and do whatever he likes to his enemies but only for as long as the bully is behind him. Otherwise, he’s in big trouble.

If , like me, you have always had a feeling that there has been something missing from the whole Get-Gaddafi production – apart from hubcaps – it was  a total lack of  any expression of idealism, binding ideas, political concepts or the future.

The rebels do not have common political beliefs. All that they have is a common enemy. THAT is what has been holding them together for six months.

Once Gaddafi is gone, the glue which held the rebellion together will be gone. There’s no stronger bond than that provided by fear or hatred of a common enemy. Then, new enemies will be sought. Unfortunately the new enemies will be former neighbours.

As I have said before, this has NOT been about the D-word (democracy). This has been about power.

Power is OK if you genuinely want to do something with it –  but it looks increasingly as if the Libyan Islamists are becoming the most influential group within the National Transitional Council. That does not bode well for “democracy and freedom” – especially for women.

It looks as if the school bully may have to stay-on much longer than has been anticipated.

Even post-euphoria, the “conquering” rebels will have over-high expectation levels. Within weeks, we should fully expect to see demands for better living conditions, more income and lower prices. The D-word will be consigned to the slogan drawer from which it should never have been taken and the Mullahs will slowly seep even further into Libyan society.

Those flags that everyone in Libya seems to be waving –  the plain green Socialist Arab Peoples Gaddafi-supporters’ flag, versus the rebels’ 1951 Independence tricolor  – where have they all suddenly appeared from? It’s as if boxes of flags magically materialised out of thin air!

Now what was it I spotted on one of the flags? It looked like a maker’s name…must have stood for Created In Algeria.

Can’t be! What a coincidence!

They’ll know what to do once the post-Gaddafi explosions start.

Libya: Freedom or Democracy?

Democracy is comparatively easy. Democracy, self-determination, having a say in the decisions which affect your life or whatever else you want to call it – can all be arranged comparatively easily. But there’s the much grander concept of freedom – for  citizens of both sexes.

Freedom is NOT a “Pick and Mix”. You either embrace it or leave it alone.

Democratic, educational, secular,  political, economic, entrepreneurial, medical, scientific, technological, environmental, artistic, philosophical are just SOME freedoms.

So, apart from being ruled by a self-obsessed maniac, what was wrong with Libya?

Libya used to have a higher  GDP than Russia plus free education and healthcare. The oil was about to be nationalised so that the Libyan people rather than the West would profit. Their national central bank operated in such a way so that it could NOT be exploited by the West. As far as the West was concerned, those were all very worrying developments which needed to be controlled.

Yes, Gaddafi was a thug whose main purpose was to amass riches for his own family and yes, there is poverty in Libya. There are hungry dispossessed people who feel that they were being unfairly treated by their rich, privileged  rulers. But those people exist all over the world. They still exist in Libya and will continue to exist long after Gaddafi becomes a mere memory.

Poverty, deprivation? Sometimes it would be a good idea for the USA, United Kingdom, France , Germany etc to have the mirror held up to themselves.  Just before they lecture others on inequality and deprivation.

Some say that it was the CIA which started the Benghazi unrest  as a result of Gaddafi’s proposed economic “adjustments”. Whoever was responsible is now an irrelevance. Suffice it to say that suddenly, Gaddafi went from being rewarded by the West for Libya’s “excellent human rights record” and being practically ravished by Tony Blair, to a despot who “slaughtered his own people”.

(That particular phrase was thrown at us so often that it became fact).

The West’s selective memory, illusion-mongering and propaganda are standard components used to excuse what has just been happening in Libya. It was always meant to be a war-by-proxy.

Gaddafi had to be deposed and no-one  from the West needed to get their hands too dirty! (William Hague: “It’s up to the Libyan people”. Yeah. Right! What he meant was “We can get those Libyans in their Toyota pick-ups to do all the dirty work on our behalf”).

Gaddafi was right in one very important aspect of the whole sordid affair.  It was all orchestrated for the sake of  self-interested domination by others – both inside and outside of Libya.

(Make no mistake – it was right that Gaddafi should “retire” but the handling of the whole affair did not exactly cover the West in glory).

So here we are : 22nd August 2011 – The Libyan people are (hopefully) about  to taste democratic freedom – just like ours. They will become proper free taxpayers and voters – just like us.

Eventually, they’ll become voters and taxpayers who pay to carry their economy to the point of  mind-numbing distress – but that’s OUR kind of freedom.

When I say OUR kind of freedom, I am of course not referring to those really “free” people who have knowledge of  subsidies, tax deferrals, loopholes and non-registered tax havens.

They already have those – just like us!

Usually, that sort of freedom takes a while to develop.

Proper freedom and democracy won’t come to our Libyan friends until their oil runs out.

So much to look forward to!


The Petulant One

“I condemn you, Gaddafi!!”

William Hague briefly came out from behind America’s voluminous skirts a couple of days ago to announce that the Libyan embassy was to be cleared of pro Gaddafi officials and that they would be replaced by rebels.

Has there ever been a more puerile sign of frustration from a grown-up politician?

The thwarted Western powers, represented by NATO have made little progress since the initial Benghazi protests and riots six months ago. The protesters shouted “democracy” and as usual, the politicians came running. Most neutral observers have learned that any Middle Eastern protest is absolutely nothing to do with democracy, free speech or any of the other Western indulgences that we have become used to.

It has always been about power and economics. The poor, the impressionable young and the students riot, whilst the intelligentsia and the military plot behind their king’s back. They are the ones who enjoy the spoils of war. Life doesn’t really change for the poor and the young. Life rarely changes for the poor.

Decisions made by politicians in respect of Libya seem to have been made with one eye on the oil with the other on the opinion polls. In spite of the rhetoric, this has never really been about “The Libyan People”

President Sarkozy of France had hoped to make a victorious announcement on Bastille Day because all that he’s thinking about at the moment is re-election. Hopefully he will soon accept that it is not going to happen for him and that although he somehow made it to the top of the greasy French political pole, his grip has never been that strong and he has been sliding back down ever since. His involvement in the Libya bombing should help him along on his journey south.

William Hague on the other hand has been handed the Foreign Office as a bit of a consolation prize, following the disaster of his leadership and the years spent in comparative obscurity . Rather worryingly though, he remains one of the more talented members of the Cabinet. From the beginning he has looked not only out of sorts but out of his depth when dealing with a soldier-politician as slippery as Col Gaddafi.

Obama has much bigger things on his plate at the moment and his own re-election chances may also have been dealt a fatal blow by Libya – although his advisers seem to have foreseen Gaddafi’s intransigence. A small blessing for Obama is that  America went into reverse gear on Libya a few months ago. He had little choice in the matter.

We’ve had sanctions, we’ve had “no fly” zones,  we’ve had bombing and we have had strong words. Libya’s assets were frozen, the Gaddafi family’s assets were stolen but still, the mad Col continues to elude all attempts to oust him. Surprisingly, to some, it was predictable from the very beginning. Unlike Mubarak, Gaddafi sees himself as Emperor of Libya – the first of a dynasty. Imperator Muammar l.

One wonders what ever happened to the  “that’s up to the Libyan people” mantra? It seems that everything is up to the Libyan people apart from who rules over them. That appears to be in the gift of the West. Even if two-thirds of the 6.4 million population of Libya have abandoned Gaddafi, that still leaves him far more support than Obama, Sarkozy or Cameron enjoy back home.

The propaganda machine has convinced us that Gaddafi is a BAD person. However, it is not Gaddafi who is dropping high-explosive on someone that he does not approve of.

Why is it that whenever we see any sort of conflict, we feel that we (United Kingdom) have to elbow our way nearly to the front of the queue, stand behind the the muscled bully-boy friend that is the United States of America and jump out occasionally to yap like a  toothless, castrated old Jack Russell.

This so-called “Arabs Spring” is a headline writer’s nonsense. It is no Solidarność and it is no knocking down of the Berlin Wall. It started with a bunch of vandals and students waving placards believing that the mere act of defiance would be enough to remove Gaddafi. They chanted the “D” word.  D E M O C R A C Y!

What they would prefer is a box of food and a TV set.

Yes, they fooled us into thinking and believing that what they want is democracy. In fact all they want  is a fair share of the oil spoils, more money in their pockets and a State which cares  about them.

There is little doubt that Gaddafi has gone way past his sell-by date and that he’s no longer even fit to run a British Nursing Home. Unfortunately, it usually takes a country a few years to realise that things are better than they were but not as good as they could be.

Gaddafi used to be a hero as he had liberated “his” people from the oppression and the years of Stone Age “nothing” under King Idris. As has been shown in many other states from France to Iran, deposing one set of royals invariably results in a temporary euphoria, followed by the installation another set of unelected “royals”.

Gaddafi ( just like a French President) has developed into their new King, his children are his heirs and his primary method of ensuring the faithfulness of those who matter, is through the medium of the bestowal of  money and favours. Nothing unusual in that! That what kings do!

Six months ago, the West’s initial reaction to the Libyan friction was the usual formulaic stuff. It had recently been practiced on Mubarak. Our governments “condemned” Gaddafi’s actions. One day the United Kingdom and others will realise that words such as “we condemn” or “we call upon……”  no longer frighten “the natives”.

We fell into a trap similar to the one that Saddam inadvertently sprung (on himself) when he appeared to exaggerate  his own military prowess.

Gaddafi, on the other hand, threatened to “kill his own people”.

That is the “Way of the Dictator”!

Dictators always seems to end up behaving just like the has-been heavyweight boxer who craves recognition and needs to reassert his rapidly diminishing masculinity and popularity. It’s “Dictator Trash Talk”. It’s plastic defiance and paper posturing. It’s NOT real!

And we fall for it every time.

Political Creep

Recently, military men and politicians have been talking about “mission creep” in Libya. There is a certain  inevitability about conflict escalation, yet in spite of tons of historical evidence, politicians ignore the phenomenon – at their peril. Mission Creep occurs when an invading power has only ONE overriding objective. It begins immediately after it has taken that first stride towards its military goal.

That first step is followed by a series of incremental shuffles which are driven by the failure to secure an early result. In Libya, warnings to Gaddafi were superseded by a “no-fly” zone, then bombing, then military advisors, then the deployment of helicopters, then the supply of arms to the rebels. As soon as the first NATO helicopter is shot-down and Gaddafi holds a few NATO hostages, the next step will be justified. “The situation has changed” reasoning will be deployed.

A single focus on just ONE end-game results in the protagonist doing anything to achieve his ambition because politico-military “tunnel vision” kicks-in. Western politicians believe that they have painted Gaddafi into a corner but in having done so, their inflexibility has meant that they have done exactly the same to themselves.

NATO views the Libyan end-game in very simple terms –  a dead Gaddafi. Some may say that there’s nothing wrong with that very laudable ambition but there are alternatives. There are always alternatives.

Meanwhile, Gaddafi’s focus is equally intense – to stay alive. The “big picture”, i.e Libya’s future is largely ignored because there is a dictator to be killed.

President Obama has been advised by his own people to “back off”  in order to allow minnows such as the United Kingdom and France take the lead in the Libyan “mission”. Why? Obama is essentially a man of peace and he knows  that there are alternative end-games in Libya but it is not politically expedient for him to explore the other options. His and the American government’s stance is further driven by public opinion and the rather flaky state of the US economy as well as the relative unimportance of Libya as a strategic jumping-off point.

Nevertheless, cigar-chomping generals are in the driving seat – and once they have a taste of blood, they are notoriously difficult to control. They do NOT understand the concept of  “reverse gear”.

European jets and helicopters are busy dropping explosives over Libya with an abnormal concentration having been dropped on Tripoli – specifically in the vicinity of   Gaddafi’s compound – all in the name of peace and protection of civilians.

Their lack of success and  increasing frustration caused by the failure of  their “Kill Gaddafi” objective will create battlefield escalation and a constant reinterpretation of UN Resolution 1973.  That means that the military invasion of Libya is a forgone conclusion. It is merely a matter of “when” and not “if”.

Strauss-Kahn Alpha Male.

 

Bilderberger, banker, former Finance Minister and prospective French presidential hopeful – all in one handy package – with the prospect of much more to come! Does it get any better than this?

Remember the gradual “coming-out” of Tiger Woods’ victims/conquests/opportunists? At first, it all seemed like a minor tremor but once the newspapers and TV had  trained their collective beady eye on the story, the proper eruption began. Months later, the tremors have more-or-less died down but his career is still affected by the fallout.

IMF Head,  Dominique Strauss-Kahhn has already been hit by a similar media earthquake.  Now, it is only the small matter of the aftershocks – how many and how severe.

First in the queue after the alleged New York Hotel assault will be French journalist Tristane Banon, who claims to have been assaulted by Strauss-Kahn four years ago. She  is the only one so far who is “considering” legal action but there are doubtless other lovelies awaiting the offer of services from a good PR man so that they too can cash-in.  Some of the claims will be true, others at best will be exaggerations. The rest will be lies. 

But what motivates a man such as this? Surprisingly, the behaviour is part of a sub-set of predispositions which define the Alpha Male. Saddam, Gaddafi and others who climbed or fought their way to their own position of power are the alpha males. Their extreme behaviours are no more than manifestations of their self-belief and  delusions of invincibility – or untouchability. Many of us cannot understand their behaviour because it is difficult to conceive extreme power without having experienced it.

Most ambitious men aspire to being alpha males – we call it ‘ambition’. Many act like alpha males for years before they actually ‘make it’. Books have been written on how to become an alpha male. It is something that many men covet because of the glittering prizes which await the true leader of the herd. What they do not realise is that once they have completed the journey, what awaits them is even more spectacular and seductive than they ever visualised. If religion is the opiate of the masses, power is the narcotic of the alpha.

But there’s always a downside: Once  they are the No 1, the only way out is either disgrace or destruction. Retirement is not an option – not for the true alpha.

In the animal kingdom, the alpha male eats first and mates first but he is always having to defend and fight for the privilege. Physical prowess is what sustains the alpha male but as he becomes older, it is inevitable that sooner or later he will be challenged by a younger, stronger male who will defeat him.

In the human world, the physical challenge has been sublimated into a self-destruct button which the corporate or political alpha always carries with him. For example, here in the UK, trainee alpha male Chris Huhne has just had his own destruct button pressed for him.

Very successful men – without exception have very high sex-drives. Whether it has something to do with money or whether it is power, doesn’t matter. It exists. It is not an excuse for naughtiness but it is certainly a major  contributor. It is that power-fuelled sex drive which is very often  their personal self-destruct button.

Over the years, I have met many high-powered individuals who travel the world, dispense life-changing decisions and who are hero-worshipped by their underlings. Most are married and most (not all) engage in extra-marital sex of one sort or another. Sex to them is a normal bodily function and a right. On the rare occasions when it is not given to them, their self-adulation tells them that they are able to help themselves.

There is always an element of ‘exponential decay’ in any couple’s sex-life. Unfortunately, by the time most men achieve professional power and their sex-drive  reverts to the warp-speed last experienced when they were 17  (obligatory and perfectly natural for an alpha male), their wife is either not there or possibly not as interested as he is.

Alpha men stray from their wives for what they perceive to be better (and sometimes younger ) sex, in part driven by the alpha-urge to populate the herd by spreading those alpha genes. 

How many times have you heard women saying to each other “He left his wife for THAT woman. Look at her!” It happens more than you think and it is a generally accepted fact that the most successful men are on (at least) their second or third partner.

Alpha men do not always stray for a better-looking woman because the whole phenomenon has little to do with looks. It is about sex. I am not suggesting that for instance, those ‘doyens of dirt’- the Rock stars who have shagged their way through a statistically significant slice of the female population are in any way not responsible for their actions – but they suffer from the same syndrome. It is NOT an illness – it is life. They are the alpha males in that particular environment.

Currently, Mr Strauss-Kahn’s sex-drive will be very very low. That’s because he will not be experiencing the ‘highs’ of power which have been driving his libido. In one day, he moved from a fully self-actualised Alpha Male to  someone whose self-esteem has been ripped from him and who is now fighting for his freedom . 

Within the last few hours, he will have realised that his professional life may well be over.

He, like many others who have tasted power and acclaim, has defeated himself.

 

STOP PRESS: Arnold Schwarzenneger has just confessed to fathering a child with an employee.

Gaddafi the Dictator-King

Muammar Gaddafi has probably been studied by the West more than any other post-war leader, yet, judging by the way that he is being treated by the anti Gaddafi, pro-rebel Coalition, it is plain to see that to them,  he is still an enigma.

Over the years, I have had contact with many corporate dictators and the behaviours which they exhibit bear a striking resemblance to those of Gaddafi and the only other comparable despot within the last few years – Saddam Hussein. One thing that I can report with certainty: they cannot be changed. Their behaviours are hard-wired.

Dictators rule by fear but ironically, they themselves are ruled by their own fears. Outwardly, they appear to have developed the symptoms of paranoia and as their career progresses, they believe (quite rightly) that there are fewer and fewer people that they can trust. Those feelings of universal mistrust eventually put them onto a self-destructive path which always leads to either their death or foreign exile. There is NO retirement home for them!

Gaddafi probably employs food tasters, doubles, sleeps at numerous locations and has all visitors searched. He definitely sleeps with a gun under his pillow because he constantly senses that it is only a matter of time before he is assassinated.

A dictator will do ANYTHING to remain in power – even if it means a diminution is status and financial or power-deals with the opposition. The overriding aspect and driving force of the dictator’s existence is POWER and its trappings. Too often, a dictator gives the impression of a messianic complex but in reality, compromise and compliance are often not too deep beneath the surface – if approached correctly. Having said that, they often genuinely do believe that they are on a divine mission. That belief can be so fundamental to the dictator’s makeup that  they are willing to sacrifice themselves in order to preserve their legacy for their descendants.

Whenever the West is upset by a dictator – even a benevolent one, they begin to think “regime change ” and “democracy”. The propaganda machine grinds into gear and soon the stock phrases are deployed: “massive violence”, “murdering his own people”, “he’s mad”, “….but he’s a survivor”,  “dangerous if cornered”, “talent for dividing his enemies”, “isolated”, “iron rule” .

Currently, the stock phrases are being applied to Gaddafi but if you think back just a few years, you will recall exactly the same phrases being slung at Saddam Hussein, as they will be to Assad of Syria.

Hitler, Stalin, Saddam, Gaddafi, Nasser and many others all used violence in order to retain power – although they didn’t always kill their enemies. For instance, Saddam would force his enemies to watch videos of their wives being raped or their children tortured. It was rumoured that Idi Amin would cut slices of flesh off his victims or their relatives and eat bits in front of them. Terrorism in its purest form.

Often it is most potent when the victim is not killed but instead given such an appalling story to tell that just hearing the stories keeps others in line.

Middle Eastern dictators are currently in the limelight and their opponents are right to be suspicious of   promises of reform because in spite of the fact that they may introduce superficial reforms, their inability to trust anyone makes it impossible for the dictator to work with anyone else apart from close friends and family.

Arab dictators sincerely believe in the moral weakness of the West and tend to reinforce that belief with demonstrations of their own piety in order to create a religious bond and empathy with their own people. Their belief in the superiority of Arab Civilisation is absolute. They see themselves as warriors defending  not-only their country but their faith against  Crusaders. The same Crusaders who used to  raid their lands every few hundreds of years but who nowadays arrive not-only with increasing regularity but with bigger and more powerful weapons.

Arab dictators such as Gaddafi know that the “soft” West will try to avoid the killing of civilians – hence the concept of the “human shield”. Tanks and guns are secreted in residential areas  in the sure knowledge that NATO will be too squeamish to risk blowing-up “innocent civilians”.

In many ways, fighting a dictator such as Gaddafi is an unequal struggle. He believes that he holds the moral, religious and “terror” aces. The “infidels”, “Americans and their Zionist friends” or just plain NATO are warmongers who are “acting illegally”. He may have a point. Gaddafi’s style of leadership is nothing new. He has been on the throne for 43 years and his current enemies have been perfectly aware of his methods for all of that time. They have known of his involvement in many atrocities – from Lockerbie to the various IRA bombings. Yet, the West tolerated him to such an extent that he became lauded as one who had made such progress that in 1988 he initiated the annual $250,000  Swiss-based  Al-Gaddafi International Prize for Human Rights. The first recipient was Nelson Mandela.

Less than one year ago, Libya was elected by a majority of its fellow U.N. members to serve on the United Nations’ Human Rights Council.

No wonder that the man (Gaddafi) feels confused and betrayed.

What he sees is the West siding with a bunch of protesting hooligans and terrorists who have no mandate or alternative to the Gaddafi regime. Protestors who began their campaign as a copycat version of the Tunisian and Egyptian uprisings and who, by the simple expedient of shouting “democracy and freedom of speech” have managed to persuade NATO to bomb what, until a couple of months ago was a friendly nation.

Many have learned that all they have to shout is “Democracy” and the Americans will come running with the rest of those spoiling for a fight trailing behind them.

Gaddafi knows that when the clarion call “DEMOCRACY!” is shouted loud enough, it distorts during its journey through the ether and take on an altogether different sound:

“OIL”.

King Gaddafi and Machtpolitik

What is it about monarchical and family rule that makes it all the rage these days? Single-party regimes seem as common as democracies but their development into  family businesses is a new development – or is it? What has kept these families in power?

The simple answer is geography, massive Western subsidies but mostly – OIL.

Since the discovery of huge volumes of oil in the last 80 years-or-so, formerly impoverished states had the cash to develop huge bureaucracies which were essentially on the ruling  family’s payroll.  Add to that their armed forces and you have an apparently immovable edifice.

Political parties and unions were superfluous because brand new welfare systems and employment created a hitherto unexperienced sense of national pride and well-being. Tribal rivalries were forgotten and in general terms, citizens rubbed along quite nicely.

Initially, the monarchs took on the mantle of modernisers but they also purposely slowed the process down because in reality, they did not particularly want to spend the money. It was all done on a promise which, for a very long time kept the masses under control. That meant that the rulers did not even have to consider involving the people in governance. Whenever  dissent reared its ugly head, promises of political modernisation would be made – but eventually, both the monarchs and their imitators – the commoner dictator-rulers, overplayed their hand. The people began to call their bluffs.

The Monarchs did not claim their kingships by divine right – as is the custom in Western monarchies.  Very few gave themselves the title “King” – Jordan, Morocco and Saudi being the exceptions. The rest used titles which resonated with the locals. They were Sheikhs, Amirs and Imams. Their behaviour, however was strictly that of Kings.

The Kings of Jordan and Morocco claimed direct descendancy of the prophet Muhammad but the others would create their own mystique by a combining claims of noble lineage and (sometimes) mythical, often miltary deeds.

Succession was  by primogeniture. This is a model which has since been adopted by what you might call non-Royal ruler-kings such as Muammar Gaddafi.

In spite of his military posturing, in his mind, Gaddafi sees himself as King of Libya with his firstborn as  natural successor.

Having said that, other Middle Eastern  rulers , for example Saudi Arabia have evolved their laws of succession so that it is not always the first-born who will rule but the ruler’s first “capable” male relative. On that basis, perhaps Gaddafi sees his high-profile son Said as the Crown Prince.

Most Middle Eastern and African “Crown Princes”  are British-trained or educated.

Traditionally, sons and cousins whose destiny  is to rule are given high-ranking military posts or very senior posts in the country’s bureaucracy. They are also funded in order to create their own fortunes.

Wealth-distribution is carefully controlled. Traditionally, the ever-expanding oil income is primarily distributed within the royal family. The powerful and potentially troublesome merchant classes are given more-or-less a free rein to create as much wealth for themselves as they can. In return, they do not become involved in national politics. They are kept sweet.

The only constant cloud on the ruler’s horizon is the relationship with the military. There are two models which have been adopted to prevent military dissent.

The first is to have a small army which is populated by a large number of foreign mercenaries , in other words, those who do not have the faintest interest in the country’s internal politics. This type of army is always commanded by a  relative of the King.

The other method relies wholly on the King’s image and personality – whether he be Royal or aspirational commoner. Quite simply, the ruler is Commander-in-Chief of the military. He is constantly visible and more often than not, dressed as a soldier. Gaddafi was a prime example. 

Psychologically, a soldier finds it easier to pledge himself to an individual rather than to an abstract concept such as a republic. It has to be personal. Even in the United Kingdom, soldiers pledge allegiance to the Monarch. The Monarch always holds a military rank  and the various high-visibility parades, processions and pageants etc always enjoy the Monarch’s patronage and participation – purely to maintain that  bond between soldier and ruler. Soldiers fight – not for their country but for their King.

In preparation for his reign, the Crown Prince will always become an army officer.

Another aspect of a ruler’s legitimacy is delivered by a close tie with the State’s main religion. This bond is reinforced by the royal family’s control of religion through funding and the appointment of clerics and church leaders. This aspect is particularly important in the Arab states.

So , the ruler and his family control the military, the  religion, all of the important Departments of State as well as  the legal system. Often, they are the legal system.

That means that when this type of government collapses, the work needed to rebuild has to be from the  bottom-up. If the ruler is deposed, so is the bureaucracy , together with the legal and  religious structures. It is a total collapse.  The delivery of a few truck-loads of ballot boxes coupled with vague promises of the Nirvana of democracy are never enough.

The gap between an Arab-style Kingdom and a Democracy is vast. Here in the UK, we have a Kindom married to a democracy but this quite unnatural mutation has taken hundreds of years to achieve “Steady State”.

Libya used to be a legitimate Kingdom but troubles began for King Idris soon after the discovery of oil in the 1950s. One of the King’s dissident relatives killed a senior adviser so in retribution, the King “downsized”. He limited the  succession and  deprived many of his relatives of Royal titles. He also became “lazy” and very quickly became less and less apparent to his subjects by not participating in parades and other public performances which are needed to reinforce a king’s legitimacy.

A  Monarch has to show himself to his subjects at appropriate times.

The gradual disassociation from the masses was a great error – an error which would be repeated in the 21st century by the man who deposed him in 1969 – Captain Muammar Gaddafi.

Libyan King Idris failed to exercise control over his relatives who were engaging in the absolute rulers’ offspring favourite  dual sports of corruption and unacceptable behaviour. Another error which was to be repeated by Gaddafi.

In the 1960s, both Americans and British had military bases in Libya. Consequently,  King Idris was perceived as the West’s puppet.  His ties to the West were not approved-of by either his subjects or the military.

Idris paid the price for his lack of control over the military , his relatives’ excesses and his closeness to the Americans and British. In 1969, he was deposed in a Gaddafi-led coup.

Over the last ten years, Colonel Gaddafi has made almost exactly the same mistakes. He has become more and remote from his subjects but as a soldier, has largely managed to retain the trust and allegiance of the military – apart from a few over-ambitious senior officers. 

Gaddafi’s sons have been trained to continue the Gaddafi dynasty and that , in essence, is what Muammar Gaddafi is fighting for. His kids’ inheritance.

While Gaddafi was practicing  Machtpolitik, blowing up planes, selling explosives to the IRA and all the other terrorist atrocities which have been laid at his door, he was perceived by his people as an independent strong leader. His threats to the West allowed him to maintain the myth of the warrior-leader. It was his perceived fearlessness and independence which carried the most currency and kept him in power.

Today he faces a sad but  inevitable closing of the family business.

Like any out-of-touch ruler, he is genuinely surprised and disbelieving of the fact that his subjects are revolting. He is probably offended as well.

His dalliances with Western leaders and apparent mellowing into a Kafkaesque effigy of a world statesman have weakened his grip on the Libyan people.

As NATO-sponsored jets strafe his kingdom, Gaddafi will have one big regret – that he did not pay enough attention to his own country’s recent history.

USA to stop shooting

THIS IS DIRECT FROM ASSOCIATED PRESS:

US to pull out of Libya air attacks

The Pentagon is about to pull its attack planes out of the international air campaign in Libya, hoping Nato partners can take up the slack.

The announcement drew incredulous reactions from some in Congress who wondered aloud why the Obama administration would bow out of a key element of the strategy for protecting Libyan civilians and crippling Muammar Gaddafi’s army.

“Odd, troubling and unnerving” were among critical comments by senators pressing for an explanation of the announcement by Defence Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs chairman Admiral Mike Mullen that American combat missions will end on Saturday. “Your timing is exquisite,” Republican Senator John McCain said sarcastically, alluding to Gaddafi’s military advances this week.

Mr Gates and Adm Mullen, in appearances before the House of Representatives and Senate armed services committees, also forcefully argued against putting the US in the role of arming or training Libyan rebel forces, while suggesting it might be a job for Arab or other countries.

The White House has said repeatedly that it has not ruled out arming the rebels, forced to retreat this week under a renewed eastern offensive by Gaddafi’s better-armed and better-trained ground troops.

“My view would be, if there is going to be that kind of assistance to the opposition, there are plenty of sources for it other than the United States,” Mr Gates said.

Adm Mullen and Mr Gates stressed that even though powerful combat aircraft like the side-firing AC-130 gunship and the A-10 Thunderbolt, used for close air support of friendly ground forces, will stop flying after Saturday, they will be on standby.

Adm Mullen said this means that if the rebels’ situation becomes “dire enough”, Nato’s top commander could request help from the US aircraft.

As of Sunday, France, Britain and other Nato countries will handle the task of conducting air strikes on Libyan military targets, Adm Mullen said. The remaining US role will be support missions such as aerial refuelling, search and rescue, and aerial reconnaissance.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham suggested the pullback might jeopardise congressional support for the Libya mission.

It has just been announced that a NATO plane  which was attacking a munitions convoy has killed seven civilians and injured  25. The seven dead were aged between 12 and 20.

The raid which was in Eastern Libya in the village of Zawia el Argobe hit a truck carrying ammunition. The explosion destroyed two houses.

Perhaps it’s time for NATO and its politicians to stop talking about the needless slaughter of Libyan people.

 

Libyan Arms-for-Rebels Resolution.

 

 WOULD YOU BUY A GUN FROM THIS LADY?

 

There appears to be a debate as to whether or not UN Resolution 1973 gives the Coalition/NATO etc., currently bombing Libya, the permission to supply arms to Libyan rebels.

The simple answer is “No”.

Below is paragraph 13 from the currently-in-force  UN resolution 1973. This paragraph refers to UN Resolution 1970 (which is also still  in force).

13. Decides that paragraph 11 of resolution 1970 (2011) shall be replaced by the following paragraph : “Calls upon all Member States, in particular States of the region, acting nationally or through regional organisations or arrangements, in order to ensure strict implementation of the arms embargo established by paragraphs 9 and 10 of resolution 1970 (2011), to inspect in their territory, including seaports and airports, and on the high seas, vessels and aircraft bound to or from the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, if the State concerned has information that provides reasonable grounds to believe that the cargo contains items the supply, sale, transfer or export of which is prohibited by paragraphs 9 or 10 of resolution 1970 (2011) as modified by this resolution, including the provision of armed mercenary personnel, calls upon all flag States of such vessels and aircraft to cooperate with such inspections and authorises Member States to use all measures commensurate to the specific circumstances to carry out such inspections”

Please click on the link below. UN Resolution 1970 will  open in a separate window. Paragraph 9 is on Page 3.

UN Resolution 1970-Libya

This is Paragraph 9 of Resolution 1970:

Arms embargo

9. Decides that all Member States shall immediately take the necessary measures to prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer to the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, from or through their territories or by their nationals, or using their flag vessels or aircraft, of arms and related materiel of all types, including weapons and ammunition, military vehicles and equipment, paramilitary equipment, and spare parts for the aforementioned, and technical assistance, training, financial or other assistance, related to military activities or the provision, maintenance or use of any arms and related materiel, including the provision of armed mercenary personnel whether or not originating in their territories, and decides further that this measure shall not apply to: 

(a) Supplies of non-lethal military equipment intended solely for humanitarian or protective use, and related technical assistance or training, as approved in advance by the Committee established pursuant to paragraph 24 below  

(b) Protective clothing, including flak jackets and military helmets, temporarily exported to the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya by United Nations personnel, representatives of the media and humanitarian and development works and associated personnel, for their personal use only; or 

(c) Other sales or supply of arms and related materiel, or provision of assistance or personnel, as approved in advance by the Committee

There is NO ambiguity in the above Section 9.

If  UN Resolution 1973 needs to be “interpreted” or if there is any ambiguity, there should be a new resolution. If  the USA, United Kingdom and France wish to donate or sell arms to Libyan civilians, they should seek explicit permission .

There have been well-known instances of UN resolutions being “interpreted” by politicians.

The last time this happened, hundreds of thousands of civilians perished in Iraq.

Meanwhile,whether Obama, Cameron and the rest like it or not,  Libya continues to be the subject of an arms embargo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cameron, Sarkozy and Obama see themselves as custodians & saviours of democracy.

The Arab States (again) see Christians bombing Muslims.

Presumably, for the sake of consistency, the West/USA/The Coalition/NATO/United Nations – or whichever hat it happens to be wearing at the time,  will bomb any leader that it disapproves of. Luckily, that is something which Middle Eastern leaders have just realised in the same “nick of time” that Cameron, Sarkozy and Obama “saved” Benghazi.

The “bomb to protect” strategy is flaky. Blair and Bush were criticised for not having an “exit” strategy in Iraq. Now it seems that The Coalition has made exactly the same mistake with Cameron citing the Law of Unforeseen Consequences in mitigation. What he’s saying is “There’s little point in planning ahead because we have no idea what’s going to happen.”

Today, we are showering Gaddafi with Cruise missiles at about £1 million each (that’s without even factoring-in the generals’ and politicians’ pension schemes or the £35,000  per hour-cost of keeping a plane in the air) – and the Americans are onto a very good thing. They make the missiles, sell them to us and we drop somewhere in North Africa.  All in the name of democracy.

Within a few days, The Coalition will have destroyed all of the Libyans’ communications capabilities and airstrips. By then, they will also have damaged Gaddafi’s military capability by blowing-up arms dumps, tanks etc.

That will do and the  time to leave will have arrived.

(If Libya’s internal issues continue to bother its neighbours, the neighbours are very well placed to assist them both militarily and economically. After all, we armed them and they will be spending the billions which we gave them for the commodity which is definitely (according to the politicians) what this war is not about.)

One of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s sons has died

in a Tripoli hospital after suffering severe burn wounds.

Khamis, aged 32 and Gaddafi’s sixth son, was allegedly injured on Saturday when a Libyan Air Force pilot, Muhammad Mokhtar Osman  deliberately ploughed his jet into a compound in Tripoli where Gaddafi and some of his family were staying. It is rumoured than another Gaddafi son, Saadi is critically injured.

Condolences. That shouldn’t happen to anyone. However, Gaddafi is not new to family tragedies which involve the Americans.

In 1986 Ronald Regan gave the order for USA planes to bomb Tripoli, the  Libyan capital as well as the Benghazi region. The strikes were directed at key military sites but reports suggest that missiles also hit  Bin Ashur, a densely populated Tripoli suburb.

Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s residential compound took a direct hit and at the time, it was claimed that his adopted daughter Hanna Gaddafi was killed.

Gaddafi has eight biological children, seven of them sons with many of them embracing the Western values that their father hates.

The Gaddafi Resolution

Gaddafi and friend…….

Colonel Gaddafi is NOT a target for the “coalition” (USA, UK and France). You may have heard about the United Nations Resolution 1973.

Some commentators as well as politicians are suggesting that the resolution is ambiguous.  The ambiguity seems to be provided by the phrase which I have highlighted in red  -paragraph#4 under the heading “Protection of civilians”.  Paragraph #4 also prevents invasion: “……… excluding a foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory”.

Some are interpreting the red-highlighted phrase as permission to kill Gaddafi.

UN security council resolution 1973 (2011) on Libya

The Security Council,

Recalling its resolution 1970 (2011) of 26 February 2011,

Deploring the failure of the Libyan authorities to comply with resolution 1970 (2011),

Expressing grave concern at the deteriorating situation, the escalation of violence, and the heavy civilian casualties,

Reiterating the responsibility of the Libyan authorities to protect the Libyan population and reaffirming that parties to armed conflicts bear the primary responsibility to take all feasible steps to ensure the protection of civilians,

Condemning the gross and systematic violation of human rights, including arbitrary detentions, enforced disappearances, torture and summary executions,

Further condemning acts of violence and intimidation committed by the Libyan authorities against journalists, media professionals and associated personnel and urging these authorities to comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law as outlined in resolution 1738 (2006),

Considering that the widespread and systematic attacks currently taking place in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya against the civilian population may amount to crimes against humanity,

Recalling paragraph 26 of resolution 1970 (2011) in which the Council expressed its readiness to consider taking additional appropriate measures, as necessary, to facilitate and support the return of humanitarian agencies and make available humanitarian and related assistance in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya,

Expressing its determination to ensure the protection of civilians and civilian populated areas and the rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian assistance and the safety of humanitarian personnel,

Recalling the condemnation by the League of Arab States, the African Union, and the Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference of the serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law that have been and are being committed in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya,

Taking note of the final communiqué of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference of 8 March 2011, and the communiqué of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union of 10 March 2011 which established an ad hoc High Level Committee on Libya,

Taking note also of the decision of the Council of the League of Arab States of 12 March 2011 to call for the imposition of a no-fly zone on Libyan military aviation, and to establish safe areas in places exposed to shelling as a precautionary measure that allows the protection of the Libyan people and foreign nationals residing in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya,

Taking note further of the Secretary-General’s call on 16 March 2011 for an immediate cease-fire,

Recalling its decision to refer the situation in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya since 15 February 2011 to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, and stressing that those responsible for or complicit in attacks targeting the civilian population, including aerial and naval attacks, must be held to account,

Reiterating its concern at the plight of refugees and foreign workers forced to flee the violence in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, welcoming the response of neighbouring States, in particular Tunisia and Egypt, to address the needs of those refugees and foreign workers, and calling on the international community to support those efforts,

Deploring the continuing use of mercenaries by the Libyan authorities,

Considering that the establishment of a ban on all flights in the airspace of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya constitutes an important element for the protection of civilians as well as the safety of the delivery of humanitarian assistance and a decisive step for the cessation of hostilities in Libya,

Expressing concern also for the safety of foreign nationals and their rights in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya,

Welcoming the appointment by the Secretary General of his Special Envoy to Libya, Mr Abdel-Elah Mohamed Al-Khatib and supporting his efforts to find a sustainable and peaceful solution to the crisis in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya,

Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya,

Determining that the situation in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security,

Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,

1. Demands the immediate establishment of a cease-fire and a complete end to violence and all attacks against, and abuses of, civilians;

2. Stresses the need to intensify efforts to find a solution to the crisis which responds to the legitimate demands of the Libyan people and notes the decisions of the Secretary-General to send his Special Envoy to Libya and of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union to send its ad hoc High Level Committee to Libya with the aim of facilitating dialogue to lead to the political reforms necessary to find a peaceful and sustainable solution;

3. Demands that the Libyan authorities comply with their obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law, human rights and refugee law and take all measures to protect civilians and meet their basic needs, and to ensure the rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian assistance;

 Protection of civilians

 4. Authorizes Member States that have notified the Secretary-General, acting nationally or through regional organizations or arrangements, and acting in cooperation with the Secretary-General, to take all necessary measures, notwithstanding paragraph 9 of resolution 1970 (2011), to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, including Benghazi, while excluding a foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory, and requests the Member States concerned to inform the Secretary-General immediately of the measures they take pursuant to the authorization conferred by this paragraph which shall be immediately reported to the Security Council;

5. Recognizes the important role of the League of Arab States in matters relating to the maintenance of international peace and security in the region, and bearing in mind Chapter VIII of the Charter of the United Nations, requests the Member States of the League of Arab States to cooperate with other Member States in the implementation of paragraph 4;

 No fly zone

6. Decides to establish a ban on all flights in the airspace of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya in order to help protect civilians;

7. Decides further that the ban imposed by paragraph 6 shall not apply to flights whose sole purpose is humanitarian, such as delivering or facilitating the delivery of assistance, including medical supplies, food, humanitarian workers and related assistance, or evacuating foreign nationals from the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, nor shall it apply to flights authorised by paragraphs 4 or 8, nor other flights which are deemed necessary by States acting under the authorisation conferred in paragraph 8 to be for the benefit of the Libyan people, and that these flights shall be coordinated with any mechanism established under paragraph 8;

8. Authorizes Member States that have notified the Secretary-General and the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, acting nationally or through regional organizations or arrangements, to take all necessary measures to enforce compliance with the ban on flights imposed by paragraph 6 above, as necessary, and requests the States concerned in cooperation with the League of Arab States to coordinate closely with the Secretary General on the measures they are taking to implement this ban, including by establishing an appropriate mechanism for implementing the provisions of paragraphs 6 and 7 above,

9. Calls upon all Member States, acting nationally or through regional organizations or arrangements, to provide assistance, including any necessary over-flight approvals, for the purposes of implementing paragraphs 4, 6, 7 and 8 above;

10. Requests the Member States concerned to coordinate closely with each other and the Secretary-General on the measures they are taking to implement paragraphs 4, 6, 7 and 8 above, including practical measures for the monitoring and approval of authorised humanitarian or evacuation flights;

11. Decides that the Member States concerned shall inform the Secretary-General and the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States immediately of measures taken in exercise of the authority conferred by paragraph 8 above, including to supply a concept of operations;

12. Requests the Secretary-General to inform the Council immediately of any actions taken by the Member States concerned in exercise of the authority conferred by paragraph 8 above and to report to the Council within 7 days and every month thereafter on the implementation of this resolution, including information on any violations of the flight ban imposed by paragraph 6 above;

Enforcement of the arms embargo

13. Decides that paragraph 11 of resolution 1970 (2011) shall be replaced by the following paragraph : “Calls upon all Member States, in particular States of the region, acting nationally or through regional organisations or arrangements, in order to ensure strict implementation of the arms embargo established by paragraphs 9 and 10 of resolution 1970 (2011), to inspect in their territory, including seaports and airports, and on the high seas, vessels and aircraft bound to or from the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, if the State concerned has information that provides reasonable grounds to believe that the cargo contains items the supply, sale, transfer or export of which is prohibited by paragraphs 9 or 10 of resolution 1970 (2011) as modified by this resolution, including the provision of armed mercenary personnel, calls upon all flag States of such vessels and aircraft to cooperate with such inspections and authorises Member States to use all measures commensurate to the specific circumstances to carry out such inspections”;

14. Requests Member States which are taking action under paragraph 13 above on the high seas to coordinate closely with each other and the Secretary-General and further requests the States concerned to inform the Secretary-General and the Committee established pursuant to paragraph 24 of resolution 1970 (2011) (“the Committee”) immediately of measures taken in the exercise of the authority conferred by paragraph 13 above;

15. Requires any Member State whether acting nationally or through regional organisations or arrangements, when it undertakes an inspection pursuant to paragraph 13 above, to submit promptly an initial written report to the Committee containing, in particular, explanation of the grounds for the inspection, the results of such inspection, and whether or not cooperation was provided, and, if prohibited items for transfer are found, further requires such Member States to submit to the Committee, at a later stage, a subsequent written report containing relevant details on the inspection, seizure, and disposal, and relevant details of the transfer, including a description of the items, their origin and intended destination, if this information is not in the initial report;

16. Deplores the continuing flows of mercenaries into the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya and calls upon all Member States to comply strictly with their obligations under paragraph 9 of resolution 1970 (2011) to prevent the provision of armed mercenary personnel to the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya;

 Ban on flights

 17. Decides that all States shall deny permission to any aircraft registered in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya or owned or operated by Libyan nationals or companies to take off from, land in or overfly their territory unless the particular flight has been approved in advance by the Committee, or in the case of an emergency landing;

18. Decides that all States shall deny permission to any aircraft to take off from, land in or overfly their territory, if they have information that provides reasonable grounds to believe that the aircraft contains items the supply, sale, transfer, or export of which is prohibited by paragraphs 9 and 10 of resolution 1970 (2011) as modified by this resolution, including the provision of armed mercenary personnel, except in the case of an emergency landing;

 Asset freeze

19. Decides that the asset freeze imposed by paragraph 17, 19, 20 and 21 of resolution 1970 (2011) shall apply to all funds, other financial assets and economic resources which are on their territories, which are owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by the Libyan authorities, as designated by the Committee, or by individuals or entities acting on their behalf or at their direction, or by entities owned or controlled by them, as designated by the Committee, and decides further that all States shall ensure that any funds, financial assets or economic resources are prevented from being made available by their nationals or by any individuals or entities within their territories, to or for the benefit of the Libyan authorities, as designated by the Committee, or individuals or entities acting on their behalf or at their direction, or entities owned or controlled by them, as designated by the Committee, and directs the Committee to designate such Libyan authorities, individuals or entities within 30 days of the date of the adoption of this resolution and as appropriate thereafter;

20. Affirms its determination to ensure that assets frozen pursuant to paragraph 17 of resolution 1970 (2011) shall, at a later stage, as soon as possible be made available to and for the benefit of the people of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya;

21. Decides that all States shall require their nationals, persons subject to their jurisdiction and firms incorporated in their territory or subject to their jurisdiction to exercise vigilance when doing business with entities incorporated in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya or subject to its jurisdiction, and any individuals or entities acting on their behalf or at their direction, and entities owned or controlled by them, if the States have information that provides reasonable grounds to believe that such business could contribute to violence and use of force against civilians;

Designations

22. Decides that the individuals listed in Annex I shall be subject to the travel restrictions imposed in paragraphs 15 and 16 of resolution 1970 (2011), and decides further that the individuals and entities listed in Annex II shall be subject to the asset freeze imposed in paragraphs 17, 19, 20 and 21 of resolution 1970 (2011);

23. Decides that the measures specified in paragraphs 15, 16, 17, 19, 20 and 21 of resolution 1970 (2011) shall apply also to individuals and entities determined by the Council or the Committee to have violated the provisions of resolution 1970 (2011), particularly paragraphs 9 and 10 thereof, or to have assisted others in doing so;

Panel of experts

24. Requests the Secretary-General to create for an initial period of one year, in consultation with the Committee, a group of up to eight experts (“Panel of Experts”), under the direction of the Committee to carry out the following tasks:

(a) Assist the Committee in carrying out its mandate as specified in paragraph 24 of resolution 1970 (2011) and this resolution;

(b) Gather, examine and analyse information from States, relevant United Nations bodies, regional organisations and other interested parties regarding the implementation of the measures decided in resolution 1970 (2011) and this resolution, in particular incidents of non-compliance;

(c) Make recommendations on actions the Council, or the Committee or State, may consider to improve implementation of the relevant measures;

(d) Provide to the Council an interim report on its work no later than 90 days after the Panel’s appointment, and a final report to the Council no later than 30 days prior to the termination of its mandate with its findings and recommendations;

25. Urges all States, relevant United Nations bodies and other interested parties, to cooperate fully with the Committee and the Panel of Experts, in particular by supplying any information at their disposal on the implementation of the measures decided in resolution 1970 (2011) and this resolution, in particular incidents of non-compliance;

26. Decides that the mandate of the Committee as set out in paragraph 24 of resolution 1970 (2011) shall also apply to the measures decided in this resolution;

27. Decides that all States, including the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, shall take the necessary measures to ensure that no claim shall lie at the instance of the Libyan authorities, or of any person or body in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, or of any person claiming through or for the benefit of any such person or body, in connection with any contract or other transaction where its performance was affected by reason of the measures taken by the Security Council in resolution 1970 (2011), this resolution and related resolutions;

28. Reaffirms its intention to keep the actions of the Libyan authorities under continuous review and underlines its readiness to review at any time the measures imposed by this resolution and resolution 1970 (2011), including by strengthening, suspending or lifting those measures, as appropriate, based on compliance by the Libyan authorities with this resolution and resolution 1970 (2011).

29. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter

Gaddafi – mad, bad or “fitted-up”

Politicians are pack animals and their chosen mode of transport is the bandwagon.  They have now gathered around Gaddafi and individually are beginning to bite lumps out of him and then scuttling back to the pack  in order to give the next one the opportunity to rip-off another strip.  The name of the game is isolationism.

The United Nations is busying itself condemning Muammar Gaddafi while simultaneously, the UN Human Rights Council is about to adopt a report which praises Libya’s human rights record. The report  extols Libya for improving its education and  constitutional framework. Several countries have made a special mention of the new legal protections which Libyan citizens now enjoy and the report praises Libyas efforts in making human rights “a priority”.  

The report was put together as a result of the Council’s November 2010 session but now, because of recent and ongoing events in Libya, it seems that it was all a collective “mistake” ( by 47 countries).

UN Watch, a  Geneva-based quango, is demanding that  the report be withdrawn and “the truth” be printed. It seems that in a matter of days, Gaddafi has gone from hero to zero but more importantly, the principle of “doublethink” exposes the United Nations as an organisation which deals in expediency rather than truth.

A few days ago, with encouragement from the United States, the Human Rights Council council passed a new  resolution condemning Libya’s abuses in response to the latest unrest. The Council has called for an international inquiry and has  recommended that Libya’s membership of the Council be suspended.

We have accepted that Gaddafi is “mad”, “deluded” and “isolated”.  But that seems to be at odds with the rather unedifying sight, just a few years ago of Tony Blair trying to get Gaddafi in a clinch and the unbounded joy as BP signed a deal with Libya. Then we had the rather speedy release of Al Megrahi from prison because of his yet-to-be-terminal prostate cancer.

Gaddafi seemed to have been fully rehabilitated and the propaganda machine painted him as maybe a bit eccentric but definitely doing his best towards his people.

Yesterday, when  Jeremy Bowen, the BBC’s Middle East editor interviewed the Libyan leader, Gaddafi confirmed that the people “loved him” and that his security forces had been ordered NOT to shoot at his people. 

Elsewhere, the Americans are talking about  Gaddafi “slaughtering” his people.

In propaganda battles of this type, the truth is often the first casualty. So where is the truth hiding?

The reportage from Libya is biased against the Libyan leader and most will say “and quite right too”. However, in the interests of balance, let’s look at another scenario – probably ficticious and purely an illustration of another view.

Imagine a leader who lives an isolated life whilst at the same time, delegating the day-to-day running of the country to his family and trusted aides. He is an ex-soldier and not even remotely interested in the more mundane aspects of administration. He sees himself, not as a dictator but as a figurehead. He is a titular Head of State, such as we have here in the UK . He does not manage – he reigns.

One day, his subjects hear and see demonstrations in adjoining countries and think “We can do that. That democracy lark looks good”.

The street activities in Egypt and Tunisia gave the ordinary voiceless Libyan confidence and resolve, courage and hope.  They prepare placards and go out onto the streets because they too want “democracy”. What they all REALLY want is the  affluence which so-called democratic countries appear to enjoy and a fair share of the oil billions which their leader mistakenly continues to  confuse with his own money.

An air force general and a head of security services both see an opportunity. The air force general orders one of his planes to make a couple of low passes and shoot a few rounds into the gathering crowd. He then orders a couple of pilots to fly abroad and denounce the leader. The air force general then resigns and calls a press conference, blaming his leader for giving orders to kill protesters.

The Security Chief is persuaded by a well-known secret agency belonging to a big Western power. He orders  troops to shoot a few more protesters, then resigns and denounces the leader.

Meanwhile, the leader is in his bunker, being fed good news by his flunkeys. After all, people who once gave the leader bad news mysteriously disappeared.

Ambassadors, diplomats and other senior people all over the world suddenly withdraw their allegiance and denounce the leader.  They resign for a variety of reasons, ranging from self-preservation to being participants in a bigger oil-conspiracy.

Meanwhile, the leader is wondering what all the fuss is all about. After all, he loves his country and specifically requested that his people should not be harmed. He continues to be fed good news and (not unreasonably) declares that the people all love him.

However, his son (who was once very popular among London’s tosserati) then blows his democratic credentials by waving a gun in front of a crowd and declaring that they will fight “to the last bullet”.

Although it is very likely that the leader’s supporters are still measured in millions, Western media continue to only interview individuals who are anti-leader. Close-ups of burning vehicles and bodies in the streets give the impression that many thousands of the country’s citizens have been “slaughtered”.  In fact, the big Western power now openly uses the s-word.

The world’s political pack closes the air-space over the leader’s land and his country’s money is stolen by the politicians who by now, sense that the leader is blissfully oblivious of the fact that he is terminally wounded and has no escape.

He has been totally encircled. The politicians have closed ALL the doors and then paradoxically, tell him to “get out”. Understandably, the leader feels very let down and betrayed  because a few days ago, the same openly aggressive  politicians used to be his friends.

The politicians are already slavering over the prospect of rebuilding contracts, mining, oil and of course….more oil.

So what of the bruised and battered “truth”? Well, that’s purely relative.

A few days ago, the United Nations were about to publish a report praising the truth of Libya’s new approach to human rights. Now, the truth is that they are dealing with a deluded murderer who kills his own people. A genocidal maniac.

The truth always depends on where you are standing.

….and here are a couple of reminders from the family album:

and of course:

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