100 years of regime changes in the Middle East have distorted the course of events in the Middle East. (War in Libya - Cartoon by Mike Keefe, on 23 Mar 2011; editorial cartoonist for the Denver Post; source and courtesy - counterinformation.wordpress.com). Click for larger image.
Who said Gaddafi had to go?
Gaddafi is dead, the Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriyya over. But is what we have witnessed, Hugh Roberts asks in the new issue of the LRB, ‘a revolution, or a counter-revolution’? In 1969 Gaddafi and his Free Officers overthrew King Idris, who had cut Libya off from the rest of the Arab world out of deference to the Western powers that had put him on the throne. Once in power, Gaddafi made new friends in Africa: Boumediène, King Hassan, Idi Amin. He even planned to provide the Sahel countries with water from the vast reserves beneath Libya’s desert. This will not be possible, following the success of the Nato-assisted ‘revolution’. Western (particularly French) water companies are queuing up alongside the oil firms for their slice of the action. A system of dual power is emerging, whereby decisions about everything that really counts – oil, gas, water, finance, trade, security – will be made outside the country. Though the NTC occupies centre stage in Tripoli, the country’s formal government, Roberts argues, ‘will be a junior partner of the new Libya’s Western sponsors’. More
Good time and place
This extract linked above is good place to start understanding how Libya and Gaddafi came to a sorry end. And now is a good time to remind ourselves of recent events in Middle East. But before that, a short recap of the last 100 years in the Middle East.
West has decided that Libya 'goes' to EU. (Cartoon by Brazilian Carlos Latuff; released on August 22, 2011). Click for source image.
At the end of 19th century, as British Empire expanded into Africa, capturing gold mines of Africa, the most significant objective of the Anglo-Saxon Bloc was to end the Ottoman Empire. Declared a leading ideologue of the British Empire –
Just as Europe turns upon the dismemberment of Turkey, so the Eastern question in Asia turns upon the continued solidarity of Hindustan – George Nathaniel Curzon Curzon (Marquis of) in Problems of the Far East: Japan–Korea–China; published in 1894.
Secret agents as historians
Between 1890-1920, Britain worked on plans to dismember the Ottoman Empire – plans that were executed after WWI. Renegades-warlords fighting against the Ottoman Empire were glorified as ‘freedom-fighters’ of the Middle East and installed as pliable rulers by Western masters. Western intelligence agents, posing as archaeologists and historians (Sir Charles Leonard Woolley, Gertrude Margaret Lowthian Bell, TE Lawrence), part of the Arab Bureau, were sent into Ottoman territories to support supply and manage these renegade-warlords.
Who do we kill today? Who is up for killing? | Cartoonist Ted Rall on 21st Oct. 2011; source & courtesy - rall.com | Click for larger source image.
‘Progress’ … they promised
These Middle-East despots, then potentates, were put in positions of power after WWI by Western powers. All the while, condemning the ‘regressive’ Ottomans, making tall claims about ‘progress’, these despots have run the Middle-East into the ground. Within 20-30 years after their installation, these Western-puppets, ran out of good-will and were overthrown in a series of mostly bloodless coups. 30 years after the break up of the Ottoman Empire, the template was reused by the British Raj to break up India – using Jinnah.
A cure worse than the disease
Muammar Gaddafi was one such coup leader who overthrew King Idris – a Western puppet. While no paragon of benign governance, Western cures seem worse than the Islamic disease. The numbers of people that Saddam killed was far less than the score of George Bush. We may see similarly, that Qaddafi’s dictatorship was a lesser evil than the NATO puppets.