May 20, 2011


Mu’ammar Al-Qadhafi – the Q indicates a velar K, a guttural far back in the throat, as the dh indicates a velar d, not the ordinary friendly d, but one far back in the throat; they’re helpful indications how his name is pronounced. – with a band of fellow army officers seized power in Libya.

The US had a large airforce base, Wheelus, in the country, whose armaments could have dealt with any small country, but they did nothing at all during the coup. After the usual round of wild claims that they must have been behind it had subsided, it has been generally recognized that the US had no part in the coup, either for or against. See note 1.

Mu’ammar’s first act on attaining power was typical and in a sense defined him. Tripoli was surrounded at the time by the ring of favellas or shanty towns that many cities in the world have; Qadhafi built a whole series of modern furnished apartments, moved the shanty town dwellers into them, and then destroyed the shanty towns. It is unlikely to be forgotten.

Mu’ammar’s own instinct was against it, but his friend Gemal Abdel Nasser of Egypt persuaded him, probably correctly, that it was necessary to create a cult of personality, simply for personal protection. His personal life remained stubbornly individualistic however, with his army tent in his army camp.

Arabic is a very big language, and the term for the minaret of the mosque, Jami’, the gatherer, the crowd creator, was extended by Qadhafi not merely to Joumhouria, a republic, but to Jamahiriya, the technically correct category for the state of Libya, meaning the masses, or “mass-dom” as one official named it.

Qadhafi may be, and often is, regarded as an amiable nut, but he is at least quite consistent. The masses are exactly who he regards as important and worthy of service, which is merely what all governments are supposed to believe, of course, but very few of them have provided their masses with free state of the art healthcare, free state of the art education, and a $50,000 (fifty thousand US dollar) state loan if they get married. Indeed, none of them, to be brutally frank about it, with the exception of Libya, which is why Libya is ranked #1 in Africa for standard of living by the UN.

Ellen Brown’s detailed and very factual description of Libya can be found at

Also at

Note I. - Some very individualistic events took place around the coup, however, all rather revealing. The coup had been planned for earlier, for example, but as the day drew nigh, news swept Tripoli that Umm Kulthum was coming to hold a concert there. (To try to explain to those not literate in the Arab world that this maternal full figured lady, all of whose songs lasted for several hours and who had all her earnings paid directly to the Egyptian army was a source of crowd hysteria that made Beatlemania look rustic would take too long.) Qadhafi found himself surrounded by fellow conspirators who had become babbling idiots, capable only of repeating endlessly “Didn’t you hear? Umm Kulthum is coming to Tripoli!” “But the coup – it’s tomorrow,” one imagines Qadhafi hissing between clenched teeth, only to be met with another dollop of the great news. Qadhafi gave up, and let the current carry him, and by something not far short of a miracle, none of the preparations were discovered. The coup was successfully carried out, at a slightly later date, and the story may serve as a useful example of the SNAFU (Situation normal, all f***ed up) as against the CONSPIRACY school of thought.

Note 2.Everyone will have their own favorites, from closing barber shops – hair cutting should be done at home – to my own favorite, announcing the replacement of all Libyan ambassadors world wide by committees formed of all Libyans in the country. (Can you imagine the chaos?)


Wahyusamputra said...

"The moving finger writes, and having writ, moves on.
Not all thy piety nor wit can call it back to cancel half a line,
Nor all thy tears wash out a word of it."

Omar Khayyam, Rubayyat

The past is past - it's already happened and can not be changed, and we all did whatever we did in this world that none of us created, that we all got dropped into.

We all live in the present, out of which grows the future, and that we may do something to change, but we can change only ourselves.

Forgiveness is always necessary, and that includes ourselves. (Two things have no limits, human stupidity and the universe, said Einstein, and I'm not sure about the universe.) Forgiveness includes ourselves, and if galloping acidification indeed results in dead oceans, we may not have much more time.

It's tough on French banks that they hold most of Greek debt, as British banks hold most of Irish debt, but that can't be changed either. Only what they do about it can change.

Wahyusamputra said...

General Wesley Clark told Amy Goodman on Democracy Now four years ago [in May,2003] that soon after 9/11 a general in the Pentagon informed him that several countries would be attacked by the US military. The list included Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Iran. [13]

In May 2003, John Gibson, chief executive of Halliburton's Energy Service Group, told International Oil Daily in an interview, "We hope Iraq will be the first domino and that Libya and Iran will follow. We don't like being kept out of markets because it gives our competitors an unfair advantage." [14]
14. "Halliburton Eager for Work Across the Mideast," International Oil Daily, May 7, 2003.

The seven countries above are all distinguished by one salient fact: none of them accept the authority of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), nor, therefore, of the subsidiaries of the BIS, the IMF and the World Bank, or the control that those two institutions exercise over the economies, loans and repayment terms, and economic and financial priorities of the countries that do accept that authority.

With the establishment of the world's newest state, the Republic of South Sudan (ROSS), that list of seven must now be extended to eight.

Wahyusamputra said...

“Secrecy is for losers,” as the late Senator and United Nations Ambassador Daniel Patrick Moynihan used to say. If this is indeed the case, it would be hard to find a bigger loser than the U.S. government.

Update on Libya:

"George Bush, Obama, Hillary Clinton, the Guardian etc etc the usual hacks in this matter, make freedom sound like a threat and democracy sound like a punishment.

"Also I don't see any reports of the following:

"1 -- That on Sunday 7/10/11 France calling on NATO to immediately stop its counterproductive and counterintuitive bombing, as more countries witness public demonstrations against NATO’s actions in Libya. French Defense Minister Gerard Longuet said in Paris that it was time for Qaddafi loyalists, which France acknowledges have been rapidly increasing in number, and Libyan rebels “to sit around a table to reach a political compromise” because, he said, “there was no solution with force."

"2- On 9 July 2011, NATO claimed its aircraft carried out another “precision strike on a pro-Qaddafi missile firing position near Tawurgha, south of Misrata. According to its media office, “NATO intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance were conducted over a period of time to ascertain the military use of the site. It was confirmed as being used to launch indiscriminate attacks on Libyan civilians in the area and a staging area by pro-Qaddafi villagers, including planning attacks on rebel forces near the port and city of Misrata.” The next morning, 7/10/11, local inhabitants denied that the farm had any military activity on the property and an examination of the farm buildings failed to discover any.

"or 3
On May 13, 2011, a peace delegation of Muslim religious leaders having arrived in Brega to seek dialogue with fellow Sheikhs from the east of Libya, was bombed at 1 a.m. in their guesthouse by two US MK 82 bombs. Eleven of the Sheikhs were killed instantly and 14 were seriously injured. NATO claimed the building housed a “Command and Control Center.” All witnesses and the hotel owner have vehemently denied this claim.

"or 4
On June 6, 2011, at 2:30 a.m. the central administrative complex of the Higher Committee for Children in central Tripoli, two blocks from this observer’s hotel, was bombed with a total of 12 bombs/rockets. The complex housed the National Downs Syndrome center including its records and vital statistics office, the Crippled Women’s Foundation, the Crippled Children Center, and the National Diabetic Research Center.

5. On June 16, 2011 at 5 a.m. NATO bombed a private hotel in central Tripoli, killing three people and destroying a restaurant and Shisha smoking bar.