22 February 2011

Too little too late Saif

I watched the footage on Libyan state TV last night of Muammar Gaddafi's favourite son - his "Kim Jong Il" - Saif al-Islam Gaddafi - calling for an end to protests, blaming them on drug addicts, criminals and foreign troublemakers.

He threatened to fight to the last man and the last bullet.  He said that Libya risked civil war, and without the sharing of its oil wealth, Libyans would starve and be homeless.  Easy to say when you're the groomed son of a dictator who has access to billions in funds taken from the "Libyan Arab Socialist Jamahariya".  He parties while his people have a per capita GDP closer to Mexico, whilst having an economy 95% reliant on oil.

He offered reform, a "national dialogue" and some opening up.  Had he done this a year ago, and there had been substantive progress, then maybe the pressure might have been released.  Maybe.  However, Libya has had one of the most repressive regimes in the Arab world.  No private bodies or entities are permitted in Libya, without state authority.  Civil society, political parties, alternative media are all banned.  Even Egypt had a private sphere.

However, it is far too late now, and moreover his promise of reform was not done in any sense of seeking forgiveness, but with a bloody threat of death till the bitter end.

His father has long been proven to be a bloody vicious and unremittingly death worshipping thug, and the actions of some of the Libyan military and police have proven that, with reports of the air force gunning down civilians and two air force pilots defecting to Malta because they were ordered to shoot civilians. 

It is over, it is just a matter of time, but sadly a matter of bloodshed.  Actions there will continue to spooks the bullies in Bahrain, and across the Arab world.  I'm hoping Bashar Assad is next.

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