“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts” – As You Like It – The Bard, (Act II, Scene VII).
Much has been said about the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) “invading” Libya because of the control of the Libyan resources to wit the oil fields, a ploy for regime change, for some it is the maintenance of the hegemony of the west’s imperialistic economic and political system with an aim of replacing Gaddafi with a regime more amenable to western interests, Louis Farakhan opined that NATO went in to kill Gaddafi and his sons as was the case in Iraq where Udsay and Qusay and their father Saddam were all killed, to Museveni calling for NATO to let Africa solve its own problems. A section of the Kremlin leadership called the intervention a modern-day crusade. To them, I can only remind them that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice, and remind them also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue to quote Barry Goldwater. Very few are talking about UN resolution 1973 which was and is meant to authorises all necessary means to protect civilians and civilian-populated areas from Gadaffi’s response to the public uprising against his rule, his unleashing of the military and his militias on the hapless civilians resulting in displacement, destruction and death.
Civil Disobedience has been used as a conscientious breach of law successfully in America during the The Boston Tea Party, in South Africa and in India under Mahatma Gandhi, in the U.S.A. under Dr. M.L. King and in the apartheid South Africa long after Thoreau’s seminal treatise by the same name had been published. Civil disobedience is neccesited by governments’ lack of wisdom and justice. Civil disobedience is meant to attain social justice, honest government, and political freedom. The international community from The White House to No. 10 Downing Street without exception or equivocation has termed the rebel outfit the National Transitional Council which holds a promise of a new day, a legitimate and credible interlocutor for the Libyan people. All this are signs that Gaddafi’s game is up. My initial reaction to the military intervention was that in some way the sovereignty of Libya had been violated, but after the actions of Gadaffi against the people in Libya were brought to the attention of the world, I was thus driven to ask myself two very pertinent and prescient questions, what is sovereignty in the absence of people? Where is a government in the absence of a nation? For people living in Gadaffi’s Libya, life must be solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short. It was upon these considerations that I came to a conclusion that it was in the best interests of our Libyan brothers that Gadaffi’s regime had to be brought down by all means necessary, whether judicial or extra-judicial.
Gaddafi in act of hubris and his overzealous gang of plutocrats, mercenaries and hoodlums and have refused to abide by established international law and to abide by the opinion of the international community. I am happy that the international community did not stand by as the aspirations of the Libyan people got crushed in a hail of bombs, bullets and mortar fire. Gaddafi conducted and is still carrying out military operations with flagrant disregard for the protection, rights, welfare and lives of innocent civilians and has failed to respect the norms of international law.
The Libyan uprising was as a result of the flagrant denial of freedom in all its several and vital forms: in the freedom of thought, in the freedom of expression, in religious freedom, of every religion, in the freedom of association to the people of Libya. Libyans of all ages, races, religions and economic backgrounds were inspired to take an active non-violent role in determining the course of their lives, for most for them, for the very first time in their lives. The Libyan men, women, and children are “writing with their blood an outstanding epic of national resistance and are performing legendary miracles daily to sustain their strength and will and make it grow until it can impose its will and prove that right can, and will always prevail over might. I salute with deep pride the Libyan people of the uprising as the authors of a unique democratic revolutionary experiment”. Fidel, Che, Mario Chanes, Camilo Cienfuegos Raul & the bearded Co. sent Batista packing to the Dominican Republic, a single act of Mohamed Bouteflika sent Ben Ali into exile while the crowds in Tahrir Square sent Mubarak packing to Sharm El Sheikh, for Gaddafi, the destination will be The Hague! It won’t be long before the chickens come to roost. The Libyan people want to have a place where they can live in freedom, like the rest of the people of the free world.
From meting violence to the Libyans, there is appalling, galling, disgusting, abhorrent, pathetic, depressing, shocking evidence that Gaddafi has set upon the women of Libya his dogs of war, rabid beasts in uniform, provided them with aphrodisiacs to ravish, rape and kill them. Gaddafi is leading a system that has systematically now decided to subjugate women, deny them free thought and association. The moment one crosses the bounds of maternal reverence, his end is nigh. And for Gaddafi, his Waterloo will be his lack of respect for the dignity of the Libyan ladies. Yet he has the audacity to ask NATO for a ceasefire! Rules of engagement ought to be based upon mutual interests, values, concerns and respect in the society. All this are missing in Gadaffi modus operandi. His hands are dripping blood of the innocents, and all great Neptune’s ocean will not wash this blood clean from his hands.
The chaos and disorder obtaining in Libya is as a result of Gadaffi’s overt and covert infractions, his lack of respect for basic and fundamental rights of the Libyan people. He has taken the path of insolence, contempt, and excessive violence against Libyans. In my mind’s eye, I know that the clarion call of freedom, justice and equity of the Libyan people may be differed, but it will definitely see the light of the day irrespective of how long Gaddafi and his band of wicked men are prepared to dig in. All his torture methods are bound to fail as he has pushed the Libyan people to the wall; they are desperate, with nothing but their lives to lose. Their resolute will is their wherewithal for victory against Gaddafi. Having seen their mothers, sisters, children, friends, comrades killed in their own homes and houses the Libyans are prepared to go the whole hog to push Gadaffi out of power. Many Libyans have died while refusing to bow to tyranny, persecution or torture, but the nobility is of greater value because their cause has been greater than merely pride or personal aggrandizement. The dagger of victory is before them, the handle towards their hands. And I believe his nemesis the presumptive PM Al-Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi has what it takes to meet these ends through his promise to “agree on a new constitution and create a system of government that both reflects the reality of our society and conforms to the demands of contemporary governance”.
Gaddafi has had his turn, now is the time for him to exit the stage.