Libya and hypocrisy of the “left”
By Sami Jamil
Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, July 4, 2011
Sami Jamil Jadallah reminds the fake “leftists” and
“anti-imperialists” who are flocking to defend Libyan mafia boss Muammar
Gaddafi of the dictator’s litany of crimes against his own people, including
mass murder, his theft of his country’s wealth and his longstanding
friendship with Israel, the world Zionist movement and American
The winds of change are sweeping the Arab world. Thanks to the people of
Tunisia and Egypt the Arabs are experiencing a momentous claim for new
history, a new renaissance.
We have all watched their calls for
democracy, freedom, rights of citizenship, accountability, transparency and
limitations on tenures, where governments are servants of the people, not
their masters. The winds of freedom will, sooner than later, come to
Palestine. Neither Israel nor the US will be able to stop the cries for
freedom and liberation. Time for the Jewish occupation to end.
Gaddafi’s naives brigade
“The claims of being anti-imperialists, anti-colonialist,
anti-Americans, anti-Western, anti-Israeli and anti-Zionists
and pro-liberation and resistance to the Israeli occupation
must not be an excuse for these dictators to kill, murder,
oppress, run police states and squander hundreds of billions
of the people’s wealth.”
The American or for that matter the Arab “left” must not be fooled by
killers and murderers, such as Muammar Gaddafi and Bashar Assad, just like
they were fooled by the likes of Saddam Hussein before.
The claims of
being anti-imperialists, anti-colonialist, anti-Americans, anti-Western,
anti-Israeli and anti-Zionists and pro-liberation and resistance to the
Israeli occupation must not be an excuse for these dictators to kill,
murder, oppress, run police states and squander hundreds of billions of the
Also, it must not be an excuse for those on the
“left” who have stood up for liberation to side with the dictators. That
liberation must also apply to the people and citizens of Libya, Syria, Sudan
and Yemen to be free to choose their own leaders and to have their own
liberations from these oppressive dictatorial regimes.
Today and other media, I had to take to the typewriter and address
the likes of former congresswoman Cynthia McKinney and my colleague Franklin
Lamb, a man who I much admire and respect for his many years of advocacy of
Palestinian rights in Lebanon. They are, I am sad to say, taking up the
cause of Gaddafi in his fight against his own people. It is worth
remembering that the first thing Gaddafi did was enlist Israel to recruit
African mercenaries to shoot and kill his own people.
Stealing the people’s wealth
“With a population of just some six million people, Libya
should be one of the wealthiest countries in Africa. Libya
should be no different from Dubai, or for that matter
Brunei, with a standard of living unmatched anywhere...”
Gaddafi has been in power in Libya for over 41 years, running the country
and its people as if it were his own privately owned estate for his benefits
and that of his family, associates and those within his own intelligence
With a population of just some six million people, Libya
should be one of the wealthiest countries in Africa. Libya should be no
different from Dubai, or for that matter Brunei, with a standard of living
unmatched anywhere in the Middle East, let alone in the world. But Gaddafi
and his family squandered hundreds of billions in Africa and on corrupt
African dictators and, of course, in support of not liberation but terrorist
organizations throughout the world.
The issue here is not what
happened to the hundreds of billions of the Libyan people’s money (recently,
it was announced that the Zionist-run banking house Goldman Sachs lost a
mere 1.3 billion dollars of the Libyan people’s money on currency
speculations). The issue, rather, is Gaddafi and the criminal enterprise he
ran under the name of “the Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya”.
Gaddafi ran a police state no different to Saddam Hussein’s or Bashar
Assad’s Ba’athist regimes, or for that matter Kim Jong-Il’s North Korea.
A police state that murders students and prisoners
“In 1996 he [Gaddafi] ordered the execution of over 1,200
prisoners in Abu Salim Prison where the prisoners were
murdered by his security services in less than three hours.”
Gaddafi aped the East German secret police state. Under his rule, 10-20
per cent of the Libyan population worked as spies and informers, “dissent”
is prohibited and punishable according to law 73 of 1973, and “political”
conversations with foreigners are illegal and punishable by three years’
While Abu-Ghuraib prison will always remain an
indictment of the George Bush occupation of Iraq, and Al-Khiam Prison will
remain forever a reminder of the cruel and criminal Israeli occupation of
South Lebanon, Gaddafi went one step further.
In 1996 he ordered the
execution of over 1,200 prisoners in Abu Salim Prison where the prisoners
were murdered by his security services in less than three hours. One of
those executed was Fu’ad Assad bin-Omran whose family, in an
Lindsey Hilsum of Channel 4 (1 March 2011), reported how:
...they had gone to the
prison for over a year and half on a regular basis [after he was
killed], thinking he was alive and waiting two or three days to see him.
“They told us he was there, but we weren’t allowed to see him”.
Gaddafi was especially ruthless in dealing with student dissent. Muhammad
al-Abdallah, the deputy secretary-general of the National Front for the
Salvation of Libya, is quoted by Al-Jazeera as saying:
In the 1970s he [Gaddafi]
publicly hung students who were marching, demonstrating, demanding
rights in Benghazi and in Tripoli and other places. These stories among
others are coming out now because the wall of fear and silence in the
Arab world has been broken and breached forever.
Supporting Bosnian Serb war criminals, neo-Nazis
“He [Gaddafi] supported the likes of war criminal
Slobodan Milosevic as he engaged in the ethnic cleansing of
Muslims in Bosnia and he supported die-hard Orthodox Serbs
in their war against Bosnian Muslims.”
Gaddafi is not the “revolutionary man” he is portrayed to be. He
supported the likes of war criminal Slobodan Milosevic as he engaged in the
ethnic cleansing of Muslims in Bosnia and he supported die-hard Orthodox
Serbs in their war against Bosnian Muslims. Gaddafi was also a close friend
of right-wing Nazi sympathizer and Islamophobe Austrian politician Joerg
Gaddafi not only snuffed out local dissent, but took his
fight against Libyan dissidents all over the world where Libyan “diplomats”
engaged in assassinations and cold-blooded murder. For example, in April
1984, while I was in London, a Libyan “diplomat” fired at peaceful Libyan
demonstrators outside the Libyan embassy, killing British police officer
Yvonne Fletcher , who was guarding the demonstration, and wounding 11
It is also well known that Gaddafi funded and
sponsored some anarchists groups such as the Red Brigades, who were
responsible for bombing attacks in Rome and Vienna airports killing 19 and
wounding 140. The bombing of the Pan Am flight over Lockerbie and the French
UTA over Niger will always remain the largest mass murder committed by
Gaddafi and his regime outside Libya.
Targeting Palestinians in Libya
The Palestinians were
not immune from Gaddafi’s erratic behaviour, notwithstanding his claims
of being a supporter of the Palestinian quest for liberation.
Journal of Palestine Studies (No. 29, Winter 1997) carried a full
account of the cruel abuse and suffering of Palestinians living and working
in Libya. In retaliation for Yasser Arafat’s signing of the Oslo accords,
Gaddafi announced in his 1 September 1994 speech his plans to “expel” more
than 30,000 Palestinians, mostly skilled and professional workers (unlike
most Palestinian refugees in Lebanon and Jordan).
Gaddafi ordered the
Ministry of Labour not to renew any work permits for Palestinians, or issue
new permits, or allow any Palestinians with families to return to Libya.
Thousands of Palestinians were forced to march towards the Egyptian borders
where Hosni Mubarak would not allow them passage. Thousands were stranded in
camps in the hot and cold Libyan desert.
Gaddafi is quoted as saying:
“All I do is in their best interests, no matter how they suffer, even if
they remain in the camps for years to come”.
A friend and admirer of Israel
“It is worth remembering that the first thing Gaddafi did
was enlist Israel to recruit African mercenaries to shoot
and kill his own people... Gaddafi used his connections with
Israel and with world Zionist groups to seek a foothold for
him in official Washington...”
Israel was never too far in the minds and actions of Gaddafi where he
engaged in the cultivation of relations with “Libyan” Jews as a way of
opening the gate to Washington for Gaddafi and his family.
to the Israeli magazine Israel Today (4 March 2011), as far back as
2007 the Gaddafi regime initiated a relationship with Libyan Jews, offering
large sums of money for the formalization of a “Libyan political party” to
run in the 1997 Israeli national elections.
According to the
magazine, Meir Kahlon, head of the World Organizations of Libyan Jews, told
the Jerusalem Post that between 2005 and 2007 he (Kahlon) travelled
to Jordan on a number of occasions to meet with Libyan officials. However,
these repeated meetings stopped later on.
Gaddafi used his
connections with Israel and with world Zionist groups to seek a foothold for
him in official Washington, and in 2003 he announced that he would abandon
his programme of “weapons of mass destruction”. This, of course, gave great
relief to Israel and its allies in Washington (not that Gaddafi was a
serious threat to Israel), and George Bush formally ended the US trade
embargo against Libya.
A murderer feted by Western leaders
“Nicolas Sarkosy, Silvio Berlusconi, Tony Blair, George
Bush, even Barack Obama all forgot the tens of thousands of
Libyan executed over 41 years of Gaddafi’s reign and forgot
the tens of thousands of people killed in his many wars in
Africa and the hundreds killed in Northern Ireland.”
Tony Blair, was the first Western leader to visit Gaddafi in 2004 when
many of Blair’s Western counterparts all of sudden discovered Gaddafi the
statesman. He was soon invited to Italy, France and Spain, among other
nations, as well as the UN. And he was feted as if he were a conquering
general, forgetting that he was in fact a criminal who killed Italian,
French, Americans, British and, most of all, his own people.
too keen in getting piece of the cake – tens of billions of dollars’ worth
of contracts for weapons and industrial projects. Nicolas Sarkosy, Silvio
Berlusconi, Tony Blair, George Bush, even Barack Obama all forgot the tens
of thousands of Libyan executed over 41 years of Gaddafi’s reign and forgot
the tens of thousands of people killed in his many wars in Africa and the
hundreds killed in Northern Ireland.
Hillary Clinton feted Gaddafi’s
son, Al-Mu’tasim Billah, at the State Department as recently as 21 December
2009. Of course, millions of dollars to both neocon Republican and
Democratic public relations firms did the trick in polishing the picture of
Gaddafi’s regime, just like Gaddafi is doing now with activist journalists
on the “left” and the right. When it comes to money and recognition,
principles always go out of the window.
Let no one be fooled, Gaddafi
was a megamaniac who loved money – much of it – and deposited billions of
dollars in Austria, Switzerland, France, England and the US. The fact that
he always appeared in public receiving officials in his modest “tents”
should not hide the fact that Gaddafi and members of his family looted the
Gaddafi’s children are well known to live the high and wild
life style of the rich and famous, throwing wild parties in the Caribbean,
Rome, Vienna and Marrakech, and spending millions of dollars on artists such
as Maria Carey and pop star Beyonce. The behaviour of Gaddafi’s children was
no different from the behavior of the children of Saddam Hussein’s Uday and
Gaddafi’s contempt for his people is well know. It goes back
some 41 years and includes his so-called Green Book, his “Green
Revolution” and his “Jamahiriya”, or rule by people’s committees where no
one is ever held accountable for, or is in charge of, anything. While
Gaddafi is keen on saying that he holds no public position and is only a
“leader”, the fact is that he, his family and his intelligence services run
Faced with peaceful public protest in mid-February,
Gaddafi and his family members, rather than opening a dialogue with the
protestors, decided to send in the army against their own people. Misrata
and other towns are a testament to the crimes he has committed against his
own people. According to Kelly Moore, former UN spokesperson in Bosnia, is
quoted in the Christian Science Monitor as saying that Misrata is
“no different from Sarajevo”.
Public relations campaigns, no matter
how expensive or polished, should never cover up crimes committed by any
leader anywhere in the world.
Infamous quotes from Gaddafi
On his admiration of Israel's murderous blitzkrieg
"Even the Israelis use tanks to enter Gaza and use
aircraft to bombard it, saying they are fighting armed
groups, not the Palestinian people. If you fight armed men
you have a right…
"As for Israelis, they, with their
army and tanks, enter Gaza, opening fire. They say that they
kill gunmen. Their aircraft carry out air strikes; you have
seen footage of the Israelis destroy homes, mosques,
workshops, stores, and offices, which they claimed housed
gunmen… As long as you are fighting gunmen, you have the
right to engage in such a fight. This is how the argument
goes. Everybody has the right to fight gunmen within his
country's borders… (Speech broadcast on Libyan state TV,
2 March 2011)
On his admiration of Chinese repression
"People in front of tanks were crushed. The unity of
China was more important than those people on Tiananmen
Square. When Tiananmen Square happened, tanks were sent in
to deal with them. It's not a joke. I will do whatever it
takes to make sure part of the country isn't taken away."
(Speech broadcast on Libyan state TV, 22 February 2011)
On his hatred of Arabs
"Libya is an African country. May God help the Arabs and
keep them away from us. We don't want anything to do with
them." (Speech broadcast on Libyan TV, March 2007)
On men and women
"Women, like men, are human beings. This is an
incontestable truth... Women are different from men in form
because they are females, just as all females in the kingdom
of plants and animals differ from the male of their
species... According to gynaecologists women, unlike men,
menstruate each month... Since men cannot be impregnated
they do not experience the ailments that women do."
(Gaddafi's Green Book, Part II)
A Palestinian-born American, Sami Jadallah is an
international legal and business consultant and founder and director of
the Palestine Agency and Palestine Documentation Centre.
A version of this article was originally published in
expressed in various sections are the sole responsibility of their authors
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