Libyan Berbers demanding recognition storm parliament - Politics | PoFo

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The way certain posters talk about Qdafi, I assumed he really was the benevolent and fair King of Africa.

Libyan Berbers demanding recognition storm parliament
Amazigh protesters in front of the General National Congress (GNC) in Tripoli (13 August 2013) Berbers, or Amazigh, make up 5-10% of Libya's six million population
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Members of Libya's minority Berber, or Amazigh, community have stormed the parliament building in Tripoli.

A spokesman for the General National Congress (GNC) said windows were smashed, furniture destroyed and documents belonging to deputies stolen.

There were no reports of any injuries after the incident, which happened during a break in a regular session.

The Amazigh were demanding that the future constitution recognise their language, ethnicity and culture.

Though they make up just 5-10% of Libya's six million population, Amazigh predate the Arab settlers who brought Islam with them from the east.

They suffered decades of repression and discrimination during the rule of Muammar Gaddafi, who was overthrown during an uprising in 2011.

Gaddafi saw Amazigh as a threat to his view of Libya as a homogenous Arab society. The Amazigh language and script Tamazight, which is distinct from Arabic, were officially banned and could not be taught in schools. Giving children Amazigh names was forbidden.

Amazigh fighters played an important role in the armed rebellion against the Gaddafi regime. One of the main fronts was in the Nafusa Mountains, where the population is predominantly Amazigh.

Courtesy of the BBC.
What does this have to do with Qaddafi?

It does go to further demonstrate that the "new" Libya is devolving into bloody, anarchic chaos.

Yes, the Berbers are upset, because supporters of the Jamahiriya government were not fans of them, and the Islamists don't exactly like or trust them either. Berber culture was suppressed in Libya because of the drive for Arabization. The country needed to further homogenize and become cohesive, because while Qaddafi was wildly popular among Arab nationalists and considered the mantle passed to him upon Nasser's death, he worried about domestic opposition from those who were largely unhappy with his policy of re-orienting toward Africa at various points in the timeline of Libyan foreign policy, and with the presence of up to a million black Libyans and black migrant workers from Chad, Niger, Mali, and elsewhere, largely in the south of the country. The Berbers were viewed as useful tools of neo-colonial regimes, much as Saddam and the Iraqi Ba'athists viewed the Kurds; a lethal Trojan horse.

Because the Berbers posed far less threat and were far less politically unified, received less moral and potential material support from the West, and did not work to the advantage of a neighbor (Iran) during an eight year total war (the Iran-Iraq War), as the Kurds did in Iraq, Tripoli was far less heavy-handed with them than Baghdad was with the Kurds.

I disagree as I often do when similar cases are raised (the suppression of the Basque and Catalan languages and attempted linguicide in Spain during the Franco era, for example) with some measures of suppression against the Berbers, and feel they should have received some small representation and be allowed to keep their language and cultural practices in place without looking over their shoulder, as long as they remained politically reliable enough in general as a group to maintain loyalty to the central government. Yet, like with the Kurds, or even those Spanish sub-nations, it is also politically quite discernible and easy to see why they were met with opposition.

But go on, if you want to use this latest embarrassment for the disgusting slobbering clowns "running" Libya today installed on the backs of foreign aircraft to make some incoherent political point against the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.

You should note however, that like with most any state, no one who opposed the NATO destruction and the efforts of their mercenaries on the ground ever said that the Jamahiriya government and Qaddafi were perfect and right on absolutely everything with no room for improvement. How could such vast agreement on every minute aspect of domestic and foreign policy over the course of a 42 year long course in power be achieved when those opposing the bombing, invasion, and internationally sponsored state terrorism that was witnessed in Libya ranged from everyone (both on here, and in countless other news/debate mediums) from communists on the far-left to nationalists on the far-right?

We simply stated that the former government was vastly preferable in Libya to either an Islamist regime or a liberal regime, and this is a position I stand by utterly.
Last edited by Far-Right Sage on 14 Aug 2013 18:00, edited 1 time in total.
What's your point? Libya is a tribal country. Qaddafi kept them down. Qaddafi is Libya. He created a Libyan identity where there was none. He presided over a somewhat secular state that strived to modernize and develop the country. So at the end of his reign the gdp per capita and life expectancy in Libya where the highest in Africa. Libyans had free healthcare, education, electricity, and interest free loans. Now that's all gone to shit and its back to being tribal medieval anarchy like it was in the colonial period. There is no third side in this.

Same with Assad there is no third side. Either a somewhat imperfect but modern and secular regime wins against the rebels. And then starts a long painful process of recovery. Or the regime collapses and a loose coalition of rival factions (with Islamists in the majority in manpower and influence) takes over and proceeds to establish their own fiefdoms, they cant wait for it even they are literally killing each other in an ongoing civil war.
Sithsaber wrote:The guy wasn't exactly Tito, and he squandered a lot of shit playing to his tribe and needless and unfruitful international excursions.

He wasn't Augustus Caesar either, he was Qaddafi. What are you trying to prove?
It's easy to criticize the actions of the man who systematically built what was previously one of the world's poorest, most illiterate, least developed nations (It wasn't even a nation, but a backwater) over the course of forty-two years in a volatile part of the world in hindsight and behind the computer screen, but pointing out flaws of the former government isn't proving anything to anyone. Everyone knows it had flaws and made mistakes. Everyone who's read into Libya well enough, watched the trajectory of the country over the years, and looked at the facts also knows Col. Qaddafi was an incredible personality and a decent man, who vowed to house every Libyan citizen before he housed his own parents. Everyone with similar clarity also knows the government of socialist Green Libya was a hundred times better than the regime which existed before (the effective British dependency that was the Kingdom of Libya under Idris I, where priority number one was British air bases and oil rights before any notion of societal development) and was a hundred times better than what came after.
Yes, Gaddafi was a bit eccentric. We get it. I'd rather have an eccentric leader who acted in the national interest, than some bland PR adviser or Goldman Sachs investment banker running the country into the ground. I bet that if you asked the average Libyan on the street now, he'd say the same thing.
Some would - The Cyrenaica eastern region which contains Benghazi and the Tripolitania western region which contains Tripoli have historically been rivals for influence in the country, even in the times of the monarchy, so some portions of the east were bastions of support for King Idris, and some others were bitter Sirte was treated as Libya's second city rather than Benghazi under Qaddafi. The bulk were just Islamists who are today running training camps for jihadist militants between Benghazi and Derna, and south Libya has become, according to Libyan, Nigerien, and Chadian officials, the new headquarters for Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.

Excellent comment, Heisenberg. That sums up the weight of the media spin machine and intellectual criticism leveled at Qaddafi. He was a crazy man because he wore traditional clothes and insisted on sleeping in a tent on foreign visits.

So what? It's a shame every country can't be administered by someone who resembles a middle management pencil pusher and reads off cue cards. Qaddafi was one of the last "real" leaders around, warts and all, which is why stuffed shirts like Jibril complicit with the implementation of the neoliberal socio-economic program on a global scale were keen on taking him out.

Not because of anything to do with atrocities, when some of those who joined the leadership of the NTC served under Qaddafi for decades and were later effectively bought by the West. More died in Egypt today than in the initial stages of the insurgency in Libya. Qaddafi erroneously believed that partial liberalization in limited spheres of Libya in a post-Soviet world along with cooperation with U.S., British, and general Western intelligence against Islamists after the turning point that was the 9/11 attacks would make him and the country safer, but in fact it brought them closer to the lion's den and it was a miscalculation. Hopefully Syria will learn from the lesson and promptly reverse any economic or political liberalization of the country, however minimal, which took place pre-war in the post-Cold War world following Hafez al-Assad's death. Don't insult anyone's intelligence by bringing a discussion about how an entire nation was brought to destruction and ruin for no good reason round to making puerile comments about what Qaddafi called himself or his fashion style.

Here's a novel idea - Cameron, Obama, Hollande, and yes, even Xi Jinping, look like businessmen because they represent and in a sense, are businessmen. When did that form of Western dress become internationally standardized? Qaddafi looked like the majority of his people - a tribal Libyan - Because that is who he was and who he represented.

But the events in Libya in 2011, many of which were either planned for or orchestrated beforehand, as we now know to be the case in Syria as well, have to be viewed within the context of a broader history of events in which this was simply the ultimate culmination.

Guy Arnold, The Maverick State - Gaddafi and the New World Order p. 86 wrote:The extent of enmity in the West toward Gaddafi was highlighted in 1989 when Gaddafi claimed that Western security agencies had tried to destroy him in 1980. An Italian inquiry had revealed that the shooting down of an Italian domestic flight, IH870, from Bologna to Palermo on 27 June 1980, had been in mistake for the aeroplane carrying Gaddafi on the same flight path on his way to Warsaw. The Libyan jet turned sharply eastwards just north of Sicily; then the Italian jet was hit by a missile and all 81 passengers were killed. The evidence at this time came from the confession of an Italian military radar technician. The story resurfaced at the beginning of 1996 when documents seized from the retired head of the Italian counter-espionage service, Demetrio Cogliandro, revealed that the Italian DC-9 was caught in the wrong place during an attempt by NATO fighters to blast Colonel Muammar Gaddafi out of the skies with a missile.

According to the story French and U.S. jets launched an operation to kill the Libyan leader but panicked when attacked by escorting MiGs; then, when the civilian airliner came in range, a French Mirage fighter fired without checking the plane's identity. General Cogliandro's papers describe how one one MiG was shot down and how subsequently five U.S. P-3 Orions searched the rugged Calabrian countryside, in vain, to find the fuselage. When the plane was eventually found pressure was applied to the doctors who examined the body not to reveal the cause of death. General Coglioandro then blames the then Italian Prime Minister, Francesco Cossiga, for the cover-up that followed. Not many leaders of Third World countries have been targeted in such a fashion by the West.

Interesting that Lockerbie gets so much more traction and airtime than that though, eh?
Heisenberg wrote:Yes, Gaddafi was a bit eccentric. We get it. I'd rather have an eccentric leader who acted in the national interest,
How was supporting the IRA in Libya's national interest. He was a leader of what was in effect a small country with a small population and tiny industrial base excluding oil. Gadaffi made numerous enemies that he and his country could ill afford. I'm not demanding that he be nice to everyone, but in suxh a situation you must prioritise your enemies carefully. Then there was Yvonne Fletcher. This sort of disgraceful behaviour produced implacable enemies, me (unimportant just on my own) included.

He was diplomatically incompetent. Whether he was involved in Pan Am 103 or not, he should never have sent his own citizens for trial. He should never have given compensation. That was just stupid beyond belief. Once he conceded responsibility for himself and his citizens he made himself permanently toxic. When dealing with western politicians you can get away with the most absurd denials as long as you just keep denying.

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