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Libya and Yemen, Two Dictatorial Regimes that Must Go

By Khalid Amayreh

 in occupied Palestine

PIC, Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, March 28, 2011


After protracted dithering and reluctance, the international community decided to intervene militarily in Libya in order to stop tyrant Muammar Qaddafi from further slaughtering his own people.

The Qaddafi regime declared a ceasefire several  times,  probably to give an impression  that  it  was complying  with Security Council resolution Number 1973, which calls on member states to adopt  all necessary measures to  protect Libyan civilians form the  horror  of  Qaddafi's military machine.

 However, the massacres which Qaddafi forces and mercenaries  have committed in Musrata, Zintan and other Libyan towns , in  which hundreds of people were killed, show that the regime  is only deceiving the world  and  spreading lies about  a ceasefire that doesn’t really exist on the ground.

The unmitigated brutality of the Qaddafi regime, even after the adoption of Security Council resolution # 1973, shows that the only language Qaddafi and his henchmen understand is the language of brute force.

We are talking about a regime that sought   consistently to  dehumanize his  people  before moving  to effectively  annihilate  them, using  heavy weaponry, including fighter warplanes, heavy artillery, tanks and internationally-prohibited weapons  that burn through the bodies  of victims.

He called Libyans, who demonstrated for liberty and freedom from 42 years of tyranny and corruption, rodents, rats, vermin, and dirty animals that ought to be exterminated.

As I am writing this piece, Qaddafi's tanks and heavy artillery are pounding residential homes in Musrata,  Zintan and other places, killing and maiming many including children?

We are not talking about a classical confrontation between two armies. The Libyan revolutionaries rising up against the Qaddafi tyranny are armed with a little more than AK-47 rifles and some few machineguns which they seized from retreating government forces.

Hence, essentially we are talking about a Stalin-like megalomaniac dictator ganging up on his own unarmed people,   punishing them in a visibly vengeful manner in order to teach them a lesson for revolting against him and demanding his ouster.

Hence, the blood of innocent Libyan civilians being spilled by Qaddafi forces in the streets of Libyan towns is crying out to the seventh heaven, crying for a speedy international intervention.

Libyans are asking, how many more Civilians will have to be slaughtered at the hands of Qaddafi's gangsters before the international  community  decides to act on Security Council Resolution 1973 ? This question becomes especially urgent in light of the fact that Qaddafi and his henchmen are mocking and ridiculing the international resolve to stop the pornographic killings in Libya. On Saturday, Qaddafi was quoted as saying that resolution 1973 was null and void. Qaddafi's Foreign Minister said on Friday the regime accepted the resolution, which reflected the conflicting signals coming from this totally unreliable regime.

Nearly a century ago, the Arab intellectual Abdul Rahman al-Kawakibi wrote his masterpiece, Taba'iul Istebdad, Wamsareiul Isti'bad,  translated roughly as the (Nature of Despotism and Fatal Effects of Tyranny) in  which he explained the progressive evolution of authoritarianism. He explained that dictatorship starts relatively broad-based, and is then thinned down into a party, and then reduced  to a wing  or  camp within that party. Then the small group is thinned down into a single family, and eventually the family is reduced to one individual, the ultimate dictator, the god-like tyrant, or the strong man, who thinks that he is the country, and the country is him.

Such is the case with many Arab dictatorships which are now struggling, often  by massacring  their own  people, to remain intact in the face  of  an unprecedented wave of revolutions and  uprisings demanding  political reforms and  democracy.

Qaddafi, the thuggish and visibly nefarious Libyan dictator,  is an extreme example  of brutal  dictators who defy logic. He actually represents a small  breed of  psychopathic tyrants  who  are  willing to destroy untold  number of  his  people  in order  to  remain power. In fact,  we may be  talking  about  a unique example of leaders who combine together psychological pathology,  megalomania, and brash  brutality as well  as the possession of the material  wherewithal to kill  and  destroy on  a  wide scale. In short, the world must not allow this madman to create another Rwanda in Libya by massacring his own people.

Hence, the man and his regime must be destroyed as soon as possible in order to limit the damage he is undoubtedly capable of inflicting, that is the killing of more people, to less than genocidal proportions.

As indicated above, time is seriously running out, and the lives of hundreds of thousands of people is at stake, as the possible repetition of  the Bosnian or  Rwandan scenarios may be looming  if Qaddafi  is given more time to satisfy his sick whims and satiate his thirst for more Libyan  blood.


Unfortunately, the situation in Yemen is not much better than the situation in Libya. On Friday,  18 March, there was a real carnage in Sana'a, the capital of Yemen, when suspected government snipers strafed peaceful demonstrators with bullets.

According to eyewitness, reports carried by al-Jazeera, armed men taking positions on strategic rooftops and nearby verandas opened fire randomly on demonstrators down the streets, killing at least 52 people and injuring hundreds in less than 30 minutes.

The gruesome images spoke for themselves and the phantasmagoric scenes defied linguistic description so much so that there was no room for any refutation, controversy, or conflicting narratives.

President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who declared a state of emergency following the massacre, denied that his police forces were involved in or responsible for the carnage, saying other people may have done it.

Well, it is  obvious that the  criminal  perpetrators didn't come from  another  galaxy. And however the case may turn to be, he is ultimately responsible for the bloodbath.

Needless to say, any government possessing a modicum  of self-respect, let alone legitimacy, would assume full responsibility for this kind of  horrible and obscene bloodshed.

In any case, the Yemeni government is not really legitimate and its dictator, Saleh, seems to lack the backing of his  people  who have taken to the streets in the hundreds of thousands, demanding his ouster, sooner  rather than later.

It goes without saying that a government that spills the blood of its own  citizens  doesn't deserve to  remain in power for five minutes; and  a leader who presides at the helm of such government has to go immediately.

This is the very least that Ali Abdullah Saleh  has to  do because under normal  circumstances, the man  must be arrested and prosecuted for a series  of crimes, including murder and  breach of trust.

The Arab world is not what it was a few months ago when dictators and Juntas or ruling families could get away with  murder with impunity, no matter how much blood of their citizens they managed to spill.

Now, the Arab world is entering a new historical  phase and what was possible a few months ago  is now very difficult.

Hence, dictators whether in Libya or Yemen or other Arab  countries will have to pay dearly for every drop of blood they spill in the name of preserving  the dictatorship or, as they say, maintaining national  unity, national cohesion, security and other mendacious slogans that are used to prolong  the life of dictatorship and tyranny.




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