Thursday, October 20, 2011

Muammar Gaddafi, the Western-type dictator in the tragic East

There have always been tyrants through the ages. And even when no one had heard of democracy as the immature ancient Greeks knew it -- ask Plato about this -- tyrants never were assured of being in power for ever. They did not always die in bed as did General Franco of Spain or Auguste Pinochet in Chile. The ironical thing is the modern Western rhetoric of overthrowing dictatorships in the name of democracy. It is a complicated con game, especially when democratic Western powers play at this in Asia.
Western governments dealt with dictators in the Arab countries, even those like Iraq's Saddam Hussein who spouted secular Baáthism. But the Western powers were contemptuous of dictators like Libya's Muammar Gaddafi who was anti-West in his own false rhetoric.
The unfortunate thing is that people in the Arab world were forced to believe individuals like Hussein and Gaddafi because in the face of Western rapacity in Asia and in Africa, the anti-West dictators seemed preferable. Hussein and Gaddafi modernised their countries even as they suppressed dissent, especially those foolish ones supported by the Westerners. The socialists in Asia idolised Hussein and Gaddafi for their anti-West stance. That was the betrayal of the East by the Easterners. There are of course the contemptible intellectuals like Fouad Ajami who spout Western rhetoric of democracy and rights while being supported by the Western governments which break all democratic rules to walk into Asian countries as they did in Afghanistan, Iraq and, now, Libya. And in the process freedom-loving Western troops will kill innocent people in these countries in order to establish democracy and to win business deals for Western companies.
The people of Arab countries, African countries will need to solve this not-so-easy to solve riddle of Westerners who provide guns to dictators and democrats alike and take advantage of the civil wars that ensue.
It is not difficult to see that Gaddafi was a juvenile delinquent who charmed thousands of youth, especially among Muslims, who wrongly believed that this un-Islamic ruler was Islam's answer to the part-Christian and part-godless Western world. The Muslim youth and intellectuals will have to give up their illusions and not depend on rabble-rousers like Gaddafi to show a respectable way of getting rid of Western business tyranny in eastern countries.
Gaddafi was not liked by all in the east. The Saudi Arabian King Abdullah Abdul Aziz told Gaddafi at an Arab League meeting in 2000 or so: "There are lies behind you, and there is death before you."

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