Libya protest against moves to establish rebel power with superficially retro-fitted Gaddafi-ites

[It is important to note that former Gaddafi-regime officials, now in the NTC, are urging the NATO forces to continue.  These same officials, and others in the Gaddafi regime, had maintained the friendly and collaborative US-Gaddafi relationship in recent years until the emerging revolt six months ago crippled Gaddafi’s dependability as a deal-maker with the US, then the US turned its attention to controlling the rebel forces instead.  Some of the Gaddafi officials who had kept the regime’s relations with the US, jumped off the sinking Gaddafi ship and joined the rebel forces, often in commanding positions. — Frontlines ed.]

Dissent in Libya against NTC nominations

AlJazeeraEnglish on Aug 28, 2011

The NTC has been nominating members for a new government, but there is public resistance to the appointments. Libyans have held protests within the country accusing the NTC of not being transparent enough.

Al Jazeera’s Andrew Simmons, reporting from a protest in Misrata, said: “They [the protesters] say the old guard of the Gaddafi regime are far too prominent in the list of people issued so far.

“They are also insisting there should be new faces for a new Libya.”

Al Jazeera’s Andrew Simmons reporting from Misrata.

Libya: In desperation, the people cry for relief from vultures who have stolen the struggle against the oppressive Gaddafi

[It will be a long, difficult uphill climb for the people of Libya.  As they rose in rebellion against the dictator Gaddafi, there were few and paltry democratic and revolutionary instruments to organize, unite, and lead their struggle.  Now, the Gaddafi family is on the run, but opportunist and oppressive vultures–both domestic and imperialist– are unleashing their own reign of terror on the very people who have challenged Gaddafi with such high hopes, and on African migrants subjected to racist stereotypes.  The people have the challenge to seize back the struggle that has been taken from them, and to begin the remaking of a society in great pain.  In this, the struggle is complex and difficult, but similar in some important ways to the challenge in the other countries of the Arab Spring. — Frontlines ed.]

Evidence of Libya massacres?

Channel4News
Alex Thomson witnesses the terror of black Africans accused by rebels of being

mercenaries and evidence of alleged massacres by Gaddafi forces.

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Mass graves of people opposed to Gaddafi

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Now fears of disease rise as bodies pile up on the streets

Taking away dead is a priority as Tripoli struggles with a shortage of medicine, water, fuel and food

The Wall of Martyrs in Benghazi yesterday

The Wall of Martyrs in Benghazi yesterday

By Kim Sengupta in Tripoli

Sunday, 28 August 2011

The shots came from two of the high-rise buildings, long bursts of Kalashnikov fire which made the rebel fighters on the ground scatter in alarm. The stubborn resistance at Abu Salim hospital, the last redoubt of the Gaddafi loyalists in Tripoli, was not yet over.

The scale of the fighting is now much reduced, but the bodies keep piling up – civilians caught up in the crossfire during the fierce violence of the past few days; fighters from both sides killed in action; those summarily executed, black men by the rebels for being alleged mercenaries, and political prisoners by the regime.

Outside Bab al-Aziziyah, Muammar Gaddafi’s fortress stormed last week, the dead, mainly from sub-Saharan Africa, many with their hands tied behind their back, some gagged, have been left on display on the roadside by the revolutionaries. Inside Abu Salim, the dead from the mortuary, some with marks of manacles on their wrists, spill into other rooms at the hospital. Continue reading

Did Wikileaks just reveal the US blueprint for Libya?

[Documents released by Wikileaks have revealed that, since 2003, the US had high hopes for Gaddafi’s collaboration with US/EU economic and military power and designs.  These hopes were based on expectations that Gaddafi’s control of Libya was entrenched and unshakable–but this was sharply challenged and undermined by the 2011 Arab Spring-inspired revolt among the Libyan people.  As a result, imperialism sought to preserve its position by cutting the now-unreliable US-Gaddafi relationship, and sought to influence, buy, and usurp control of the rebel forces, as the way to keep Libya as a dependable resource for the imperialist world. — Frontlines ed.

An excerpt from the following document:  “Nothing in the leaked documents reviewed here suggests that the NATO-backed removal of the Gaddafi regime was premeditated. On the contrary, the documents show that the United States was more enthusiastic about working with Gaddafi than perhaps Gaddafi was with the Americans – though clearly both stood to gain…..The Americans sought to expand their military presence in Africa and Gaddafi wanted to secure his regime against external threats….

…The documents support the view that the decision to go to war against Gaddafi – in the name of “protecting civilians” was more opportunistic – riding on the back of the “Arab Spring.”……It is likely that after the toppling of the Tunisian and Egyptian presidents by popular uprisings in January and February respectively, top American and NATO decision makers believed that once protests started against it, the Gaddafi regime would be too unstable and unreliable to deal with….

….But just as the Americans were happy to work with Gaddafi, they will be as keen to work with his successors, who now owe their positions to foreign intervention……]

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former US Secretary of State Rice and Muammar Gaddafi

by Ali Abunima, Electronic Intifada, August 26, 2011

The US administrations of Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama were set on developing deep “military to military” ties with the Libyan regime of Muammar Gaddafi, classified US diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks on 24 August reveal.

The United States was keen to integrate Libya as much as possible into “AFRICOM,” the American military command for Africa which seeks to establish bases and station military forces permanently on the continent.

“We never would have guessed ten years ago that we would be sitting in Tripoli, being welcomed by a son of Muammar al-Qadhafi,” Senator Joseph Lieberman (Ind.-CT) said during an August 2009 meeting, which also included Senators John McCain and Susan Collins.

John McCain promising US weapons to Gaddafi in a time of collaboration

The records confirm that McCain, the Republican presidential candidate in 2008, strongly supported US arms sales to Libya and personally pledged to Muammar Gaddafi (also spelled “al-Qadhafi”) and his son Muatassim that he would push to get such transfers approved by Congress. McCain also revealed that the United States was training officers in Gaddafi’s army.

While the Americans pursued the relationship vigorously, they met with a cautious and sometimes “mercurial” response from the Libyans. In particular, the mistrustful Libyans wanted security guarantees that the Americans appeared reluctant to give.

“We can get [equipment] from Russia or China,” Muatassim told the visiting senators, “but

UK's Prime Minister Tony Blair played a major role sealing the 2003 relations with Gaddafi

we want to get it from you as a symbol of faith from the United States.”

In hindsight, given the US support for the NATO war against the Gaddafi regime, it is not difficult to understand why the Libyans wanted these guarantees.

Nevertheless, Gaddafi received high praise for his “counterterrorism” credentials from US officials.

The documents also reveal that the United States was keen to court Gaddafi’s sons, flying them to the United States for high level visits.

And, notably, none of the cables regarding high level meetings quoted in this post made any mention of American concerns about “human rights” in Libya. The issue never appeared on the bilateral agenda.

Does the removal of the Gaddafi regime now clear the way for the United States to pursue the plans for integrating Libya into AFRICOM under what the Americans must hope will be a pliable regime? Continue reading

Libyan political prisoners set free

AlJazeeraEnglish on Aug 26, 2011

With Muammar Gaddafi on the run, many political prisoners who opposed him have been set free by Libyan rebel forces and are returning home.

At least 107 political prisoners held in the Abu Salim prison have returned home to the eastern city of Benghazi.  Many families are scanning lists of those freed from prison, anxiously looking for the names of their loved ones.

Al Jazeera’s Scott Heidler reports from Benghazi.

 

Gaddafi crosses Libya-Algeria border: Report

Cairo, Aug 27, (IANS):

Six armoured vehicles, thought to be carrying Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and his sons, have crossed the Libya-Algeria border, Egypt’s official news agency MENA reported Saturday

Libyan military sources said the Mercedes bullet-proof cars left Libya for Algeria through the border, without any pursuit from the rebels.

The vehicles may have also carried other important Libyan officials.

An uprising against Gaddafi’s 42-year rule began in February. An international military operation “to protect civilians” began March 19 following a UN resolution.

Rebel forces have got control over large swathes of the country and most of the capital, Tripoli.

The Sun earlier reported Gaddafi may have fled on a golf buggy through a network of tunnels under his palatial building in Tripoli.

Who can unite Libya if Gaddafi falls?

21 Aug 2011 19:31

By Michael Georgy, Reuters

NALUT, Libya, Aug 21 (Reuters) – Libyan rebel Husam Najjair seems more concerned about the possibility of rebels turning on each other when they try to take control of the capital Tripoli than the threat posed by forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi.

“The first thing my brigade will do is set up checkpoints to disarm everyone, including other rebel groups, because otherwise it will be a bloodbath,” said Najjair. “All the rebel groups will want to control Tripoli. Order will be needed.”

His comments pointed to the biggest question that will be asked as the endgame appears to be nearing in Libya — is there one unifying figure who can lead Libya if the rebels take over?

Right now the resounding answer seems to be no. Continue reading

Libyan civilians build weapons of rebellion

Mechanics work on improvised weapons in Misrata, Libya.

[In February, the people of Libya, inspired by the rebellions in neighboring Tunisia and Egypt, rose in rebellion against the oppressive Gaddafi regime.  This shattered the usefulness of Gaddafi to US and EU imperialists, who had profited greatly from Gaddafi’s partnership with them over the last decade.  So the US and EU/NATO moved to influence and manipulate the Libyan rebellion, in order to win control of Libya and its resources in coming years.  This means the Libyan people are up against two obstacles to liberation–the Gaddafi regime, and the deceptive US/EU/NATO forces which have poured military resources into defeating Gaddafi, but also to control the military force of the Libyan rebellion–and to prevent genuine liberation.  The imperialists have been doling out such arms rather selectively–and Libyan rebels, who are divided about the role the US/EU can play, are creating their own weapons factories for the resistance.  It is not clear what scale these initiatives have taken, and whether they are leading to a degree, large or small, of political and military independence from US/NATO imperialist forces. — Frontlines ed.]

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June 20, 2011

MISRATA, Libya  (AP)— Aref Abu Zeid used to be a heavy equipment engineer at the Libya Steel Company. Now he runs an 80-man team working 12 hours a day turning out rockets and weapons to fight Muammar Qadaffi’s forces.

In this rebel stronghold in western Libya, civilian engineers, mechanics and tradesmen are pumping out materiel to arm the uprising against Qadaffi’s rule that has become a civil war.

“None of us here have anything to do with the military,” said Abu Zeid, 50, a short man with a thick salt and pepper beard and an easy smile. “Our need to protect our homes, our lives and our city forced us into this war work.”

Misrata, the country’s third-largest city located 125 miles southeast of the capital, is home to the largest steel company in the country and metal is always available here. Continue reading

Revolutionary Front for the Defense of the People’s Rights (Brazil): Analysis of war in Libya

[This is an updated translation of an important analysis of the war in Libya, from the Revolutionary Front for the Defense of People’s Rights of Brazil. — Frontlines ed.]

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Down with the imperialist aggression against Libya!

Long live the war of resistance of the people of the world!

On March 19th, with the U N’s approval, NATO imperialist forces composed of the USA, France, England, Canada, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Denmark and others, began bombing on Libyan territory, on the pretext of protecting the civilian population from massacres perpetrated by the fascist front of massive Gadaffi protests.

Imperialism is again using the pretext of defending human rights and democracy for promoting more aggression against the people. These same governments, mainly the USA, maintain feudal monarchical regimes in neighboring countries, such as Bahrain, Yemen, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and they do nothing before the massacres of the masses that these same governments have been committing. Much to the contrary, while advising caution in the international diplomacy with the excesses, they continue supporting these reactionary regimes which provide them with more arms and resources. Last December, the North American Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, praised the government of Bahrain for its “commitment […] towards a democratic path.”

More so, the USA and coalition forces maintain a criminal occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, supported by mercenary armies, they have been perpetrating an ongoing genocide against the masses, on which the UN has said nothing.

Imperialist wars of domination — and worldwide revolution

The aggression undertaken by NATO/USA is a continuation of historical colonial oppression over the people of Africa and a new chapter of imperialist war of shares, facing the profound worldwide crisis that gives life to capitalism. It is a violation of the right of self-determination of the people and part of the counter-revolutionary offensive started by Bush and continued by Obama. It seeks to divert the just struggle of the masses against oppression and exploitation, to restructure bureaucratic capitalism in these countries, directing fractions and power groups of the grand bourgeoisie so that they can introduce “new” government puppets. Continue reading

Brazil: Statement on Libya from the Revolutionary Front for Defense of People’s Rights

[The following appears to be a preliminary translation (from the Portuguese) of a statement from Brazil, issued recently, on the events in Libya, the imperialist aggression, and the people’s struggle against the fascist Gaddafi regime–issues of great importance to revolutionaries throughout the world.  We will post updates on this statement (and this translation) as they become available. — Frontlines ed.]
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REVOLUTIONARY FRONT FOR DEFENSE OF PEOPLE’S RIGHTS – BRAZIL
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DOWN THE IMPERIALIST AGGRESSION TO LYBIA!
LONG LIVE THE PEOPLES’ RESISTANCE ALL OVER THE WORLD!
On March 19th, under the approval of UN, NATO’s imperialist forces of USA, France, England, Canada, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Denmark and other countries started bombing the Libyan territory, with the subterfuge of protecting the civil population from the massacre waged by the fascist Kaddafi because of the people’s massive protests.
Imperialism is again using the cloak of human rights defence and democracy to promote one more aggression to the peoples. The same governments, mostly USA’s, have kept feudal monarchic regimes in neighbour countries like Bahrein, Yemen, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and have not done anything concerning the massacre of the masses those governments have perpetrated. On the contrary, while the international diplomacy preach them to be cautions with the excesses, they keep supporting those reactionary regimes supplying them with weapons and resources. Last December the USA State Secretary, Hillary Clinton, praised the Bahrein government by its “commitment [….] to the democratic road”.
And more than that, the USA and coalition forces maintain the criminal Iraq and Afghanistan occupations, supported by mercenary armies and wage a continuous genocide against the masses; the UN has nothing declared so far.

Unsafe in Libya, Unwanted in Europe: Exiles of the Arab Spring

Thousands of desperate migrant workers have gathered near Calais

By Jerome Taylor
The Independent/UK
May 18, 2011

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/unsafe-in-libya-unwanted-in-europe-exiles-of-the-arab-spring-2285574.html

Asylum seekers fleeing Libya at 'Africa House', a refugee camp near Calais

In a derelict industrial complex to the east of Calais they shiver under their sodden blankets dreaming of a Europe that simply doesn’t exist. Seney Alema and his friends are the northernmost vanguard of a human wave that has swept across the continent as Nato’s bombs continue to pummel Libya.

While Europe has applauded the steady toppling of North Africa’s dictators, the continent has been unwelcoming to the thousands of people who have fled the region – the separate states bickering over who should take the responsibility for the refugees’ fates.

When the war against Muammar Gaddafi broke out earlier this year, people like Seney were trapped. European powers scrambled ships to evacuate their own nationals but sub-Saharan migrants, who did the kind of jobs Libyans simply didn’t want to do, were left to fend for themselves.

Related articles Libya’s oil chief ‘defects from Gaddafi regime and joins rebels’ Woman and child among 26 bodies ‘found in mass graves’ near Syrian city Mubarak’s wife freed after handing over £2.5m but may still face trial Search the
news archive for more stories As law and order broke down the beatings and robberies began. Some were press-ganged into
fighting the rebels, others simply disappeared. So thousands are now fleeing across the Mediterranean in barely sea-worthy
boats, hoping that somewhere like Britain will give them shelter. Continue reading

Background on “Western powers grab for Libya”

21 March 2010. A World to Win News Service. *The Western powers now
bombarding Libya like to pretend that their so-called humanitarian
intervention is something new in the world. It would be something new and
amazing if the US and Europe were fighting to liberate an oppressed people,
but that’s not what’s happening.
What has now been rebranded as ”humanitarian intervention” is just as old
as what apologists for nineteenth-century colonialism called the ”white
man’s burden”. And it is no more new than the invasions of Afghanistan and
Iraq, similarly touted as acts taken to rid the people of tyrants, which in
fact just brought those peoples even more misery and on top of that foreign
occupation.
Our indictment of the Western powers rests on two main arguments based on
evidence whose truth would be difficult to deny: what these powers have done
in the past, from the late nineteenth century through now, and why they have
decided to respond to the Arab spring by singling out Libya for attack.
Taken together, an examination of these two questions demonstrates that the
West’s current actions represent not a break with their colonial past but a
continuity. Continue reading

US envoy discussing terms for Moammar Gadhafi’s “Golden Handshake” retirement

[Moammar Gadhafi, over the past decade and until recently a close petro-partner and “war on terror” collaborator with the US/EU imperialists, lost his utility as a collaborator in imperialist affairs when the Arab uprising ignited a popular rebellion in Libya against his oppressive rule.  Over recent weeks, imperialist interests have sought to discard Gadhafi, to hijack and control the popular Libyan rebellion, and to establish ties with (and/or insert) an opposition leadership which will serve, however disguised, as the imperialist’s future compradors, replacing the (now-incapable of governing and of safeguarding imperialist interests) politically spent Gadhafi.

To achieve this result, the US/EU is turning attention to shaping a “golden handshake” retirement deal for their recent partner Gadhafi.

And the people, whose rebellion has been stolen, face the challenge of re-establishing its independence, self-reliance, and popular control, and to prepare for a determined and protracted revolutionary struggle against imperialism, neo-colonialism, and local oppressive reactionaries . This is a crucial juncture in a difficult history that is just beginning. –Frontlines ed.]

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Former US rep in Libya to seek Gadhafi’s exit

Curt Weldon Muammar Gadhafi

TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — A former U.S. congressman invited by Moammar Gadhafi arrived in Tripoli on Wednesday on a self-described private mission to urge the Libyan leader to step down as rebels and pro-government forces waged near stalemate battles.

Curt Weldon, a Pennsylvania Republican who has visited Libya twice before, said he leading a private delegation and had informed the White House and some members of Congress about his trip. He was in Libya’s capital as a White House envoy, Chris Stevens, was meeting rebels in their de facto capital, Benghazi, to gauge their intentions and capabilities.

Gadhafi has been widely excluded from international efforts to broker a peace plan, with rebels insisting that his four-decade rule must end. Weldon would be one of the few high-profile Westerners to meet with Gadhafi since the rebellion began in February. Continue reading

Dancing with the Devil: Lessons from the Libyan Civil War

By Kali Akuno

For a generation that has witnessed few genuine people’s movements succeed in transforming the nation-states where they reside and engage in bottom up processes of social revolution, the popular uprisings in Africa (Tunisia, Egypt, Algeria, Morocco and Libya) and southwest Asia (Yemen, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Syria) have been very instructive. In the main what these movements reiterate is that “repression does indeed build resistance“, although it may take decades for it to mature or to find the right time and opportunity to express itself. All of these states had been captured and ruled for years, if not decades or longer (in the case of Morocco in fact centuries), by neo-colonial forces that found countless ways to compromise with imperialism and brutality repress and contain the democratic aspirations of the peoples for social revolution. The rebellions of 2011 are more than justified responses to this sad history of neo-colonial reaction and imperialist domination.

While each of the uprisings as individual events deserve to be analyzed and studied in detail, the situation in Libya I would argue is the most pertinent for revolutionary forces around the world to understand. There are some very critical lessons to be learned from the current conflagration in Libya on the does and don’ts of engaging in revolutionary struggle. The most central of these lessons focuses on the importance of self-reliance to the success of peoples’ struggles for self-determination, national sovereignty and democratic rights. History painfully illustrates that political forces that aspire to make revolutionary change that don’t prioritize self-reliance in all aspects of their endeavors in making change typically don’t end up determining their own destiny. Forces that don’t adhere to this principle typically gravitate towards opportunism and seek short cuts to victory. Short cuts don’t build organization, develop a political base, nor transform consciousness. Short cuts typically embolden counter-revolution and inevitably lead to defeat. Even worse, they open the door for better organized or more powerful players on the world stage to dictate and determine the outcome of the struggles.

In its quest to depose the Gaddafi government, the Libyan opposition has violated the principle of self-reliance, and has made a fateful deal with the devil that has likely sealed its fate. In calling upon outside forces to intervene in the attainment of a key strategic objective – in this case to provide it with aerial superiority, military intelligence, arms, and training (all in clear violation of UN resolution 1973) – the Libyan opposition is engaging in a critical short cut that can only lead to a Pyrrhic victory. The “no-fly zone” administered by the US and NATO, under the banner of UN legitimacy, not only changes the overall balance of forces in this struggle, it has insured that imperialism will ultimately determine the outcome to its liking and/or strategic needs, as favors are not awarded for free. Imperialism will make sure that any new Libyan regime (which despite many confused claims about the opposition, particularly by a number of left forces, is being lead by key elements drawn from the Gaddafi regime, who have opportunistically jettisoned it in the hopes of administering their own imperialist sponsored fiefdom) is a neo-liberal state that will keep the oil spigot flowing, enable aspects of oil production to be further privatized, and fully serve the economic and political needs of transnational capital. What this means for the opposition, and more importantly for the Libyan people, is that at best they will have UN monitored and sanctioned “democratic elections” that will merely substitute one puppet regime for another. Continue reading

‘Noble’ War In Libya – Part 1

by Media Lens

March 23, 2011

One can hardly fail to be impressed by the corporate media’s faith in humanity. Or at least that part of humanity with its finger on the cruise missile button. Last week, the Independent’s Patrick Cockburn predicted that ‘Western nations will soon be engaged in a war in Libya with the noble aim of protecting civilians.’

At the opposite end of the alleged media spectrum, former Spectator editor and current London Mayor, Boris Johnson, agreed in the Telegraph:

‘The cause is noble and right, and we are surely bound by our common humanity to help the people of Benghazi.’

So is the aim of the latest war a noble one? How do Cockburn and Johnson know?

Perhaps they have considered evidence from the recent historical record. Economist Alan Greenspan, former Chairman of the US Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, wrote in his memoir:

‘I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil.’ (Leader, ‘Power, not oil, Mr Greenspan,’ Sunday Times, September 16, 2007)

If this seems heroic, Greenspan’s bewildered response to the resulting controversy suggests otherwise:

‘From a rational point of view, I cannot understand why we don’t name what is evident and indeed a wholly defensible pre-emptive position.’ (Quoted, Richard Adams, ‘Invasion of Iraq was driven by oil, says Greenspan,’ The Guardian, September 17, 2007)

Certainly it is ‘defensible’, if we accept that the world’s premier power should do as it pleases in pursuit of oil. Greenspan had made his ‘pre-emptive’ economic case for war to White House officials, who responded: ‘Well, unfortunately, we can’t talk about oil.’ (Quoted, Bob Woodward, ‘Greenspan: Ouster Of Hussein Crucial For Oil Security,’ Washington Post, September 17, 2007) Continue reading

‘Noble’ War In Libya – Part 2

by Media Lens

(see part one at https://revolutionaryfrontlines.wordpress.com/2011/03/28/noble-war-in-libya-part-1/)

March 28, 2011

As a Sunday Times leader made clear on March 20, sometimes you just have to draw a line:

‘[T]here can be no accommodation with a man like Gadaffi or any of his family who aspire to succeed him.’ (Leading article, ‘Allies need a rapid victory to outwit Gadaffi,’ Sunday Times, March 20, 2011)

Seven years earlier, Alan Massie wrote in the same newspaper:

‘The sight of Tony Blair shaking hands with Colonel Gadaffi last week will have disgusted many… One may sympathise with these sentiments but, pushing emotion aside, Blair has shown courage. It would be lovely if international politics could be conducted so you were always dealing with decent people. It might be nice if governments were able consistently to pursue the “ethical foreign policy” of which Robin Cook used to speak so enthusiastically but the world isn’t like that.’ (Massie, ‘Keeping Gadaffi close is the safest option,’ Sunday Times, March 28, 2004)

Sometimes, then, there can be accommodation with a man like Gaddafi. It was important not to overstate the extent of his crimes:

‘Of course, Libya remains essentially a dictatorship, even if not as repellent a one as that of Saddam’s.’

And democracy was far more likely to take root in the Middle East ‘in an atmosphere of friendship than of hostility’. Thus Blair was ‘bringing Libya into the fold of the community of nations’. Continue reading