Thursday, January 26, 2012

The True Heroes of Libya

It has recently been reported that forces which are identified as “pro-Gaddafi fighters” by Al Jazeera, have been fighting back against Libya’s National Transitional Council and have taken the town of Bani Walid. Al Jazzera stated that the pro-Gaddafi forces were “well-equipped and highly trained.” [1] Thus, it seems that while the US and NATO may have declared victory over Gaddafi, the people that support him are very much still alive and kicking.

While Western governments may act as if the National Transitional Council has the support of the Libyan people and is the legitimate government of Libya, they are quite incorrect. In addition to the war crimes that were committed by rebels during the US-led war against Gaddafi [2], it is now being reported that according to UN officials, “More than 8,000 pro-Gaddafi supporters are being held by militia groups, amid reports of torture.” [3] Thus, things are not as what they seem.

The Western media also has a major role to play in this as not only did they engage and support the propaganda campaign of lies and deceit directed against Gaddafi when the war against Libya started. Yet once it ended, they left and ignored important aspects of the aftermath, such as when the new Libyan government endorsed Sharia law, with the head of the NTC suggesting “that Islam could play a greater role in public life in the new Libya.” [4] This may very well mean that the women’s rights are in danger and the freedom that women had under Gaddafi [5] will be rolled back. The situation for women is all the more worrying when one factors in that many Islamist groups, which were repressed under Gaddafi, have now emerged after the war. [6]  (In addition to this, while women had a major role in the revolution during its beginning, by the end they were largely sidelined by the new regime. [7]) Thus, the situation for women is looking quite dismal.

This attack by pro-Gaddafi forces only goes to show that there are still those in Libya who refuse to subjugate themselves to Western interests, who refuse to sell out their country to imperialists and colonialists. These people, rather than the traitorous National Transitional Council, are the true heroes of Libya.


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