Libmonster ID: UK-1457

E. I. DOROSHENKO

Candidate of Philological Sciences RIA Novosti

armed confrontation in Libya Keywords:democratizationlustration law

"...in most cases, Death is defeated when it appears with a waving black banner amid the dust raised on the battlefield or in the center of a hurricane. In such cases, Death, convinced of its victory, deludes itself; it thus encourages its opponent to resist, which leads it to defeat."

Muammar Gaddafi. The short story "Death" 1.

Historical reality is continuous and integral -it cannot be abolished, nullified by deliberate reinterpretation, deliberately erased, completely destroyed, and then, when - and if - it becomes necessary, "created" anew. Purposeful creation of "white spots" under the influence of the moment, in favor of the changed government or in accordance with a new ideology will have only a short-term effect. In the modern world, where information has long been no less important civilizational fuel than oil, hidden manipulation of obvious historical data is almost impossible, although there have been and are attempts of this kind.

Thanks to globalization and new technologies, the most important events of our time are becoming better documented and more accessible from year to year, so attempts to "hide" them look at least naive. The ability of a people to accept the historical truth about their country, on the one hand, indicates their maturity, and on the other - their undoubted readiness to build their future on a solid foundation of facts, and not on painful exaggerations or outright myths, including those inherited from the past.

There are significant events in the life of the state, whether it is a revolution, a regime change, or the adoption of a new law. In the same sense, the deaths of those who somehow influenced the country's development through their actions can serve as a valuable historical lesson.

Now, two years after the tragic death of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi on October 20, 2011, when the media euphoria over the death of a "brutal dictator who oppressed his own people" 2 has subsided, replaced by disturbing reports about attacks on embassies 3, militant attacks and other security problems 4, the true state of affairs and the patterns of the new President-elect The Libyan authorities are beginning to show more and more clearly the ways of development.

Together with the ideologically "dark" past and huge natural resources from the previous regime, the current leadership has also inherited such achievements as a system of free public education and health care, a set of social benefits established for Libyan citizens (for example, no fees for housing and electricity), a developed infrastructure and the irrigation project "Great Artificial River" with the aim of completely eliminating the need for provide the population with drinking water 5.

The intrinsic value of all this for society, regardless of the ideological wrapper, is obvious. Gaddafi really did what he could, and now, after his death, it's the turn of others to do better.

It is only natural that two years is too short a time to build a civil society that allegedly did not exist under Gaddafi6. However, a whole list of achievements of the Libyan revolution of February 17, 2011 has already appeared, the main one of which is called " the elimination of the Gaddafi regime (and himself)", since

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"this man was the epitome of a dictatorship, and his resignation was long overdue. His capture and removal from power was a dream come true, which the Libyan people have cherished for forty years. " 7

But the new authorities did not stop with the physical elimination of Gaddafi; the policy of consistently "erasing" any associations with the former regime was manifested in several directions at once:

- The law on lustration, according to which no Libyan citizen who supports the former political order to one degree or another has the right to hold public office.;

- Deliberately ignoring the deplorable state of cities such as Sirte, Tawergha and Bani Walid, which became ghost towns after fierce rebel resistance.;

- partial rejection of the previously stated course on freedom of the press1."

This ideological filter of "revenge", combined with security concerns and the absence of real power and authority in the new Libyan government, seriously hinders the process of democratization. For example, the law on lustration was passed under strong pressure from armed groups, which over the past two years have established an eternal "holiday of disobedience" in the country with weapons in their hands.11

In such circumstances, the voices of all Libyan citizens without exception - including those who still continue to support the former regime - cannot be heard, and this is another contradiction to the declared course towards democratization. The following facts indicate that Gaddafi still enjoyed the support of a significant part of the population in the last year of his rule::

- during the armed confrontation between the regime and the rebels supported by NATO forces, not only anti-but also pro-government demonstrations took place in Tripoli and other Libyan cities, the largest of which was the so-called "march of millions", held on July 1, 2011, which, according to various estimates, was attended by several tens of thousands 12 up to 1 million 700 thousand people 13;

- On August 8, 2011, during a press conference on the aftermath of the NATO bombing of Majer, regime spokesman Musa Ibrahim made the following statement: "How can a regime completely devoid of popular support, completely rejected by its own people, be so viable as to resist ?.. NATO forces and armed rebels, [to survive] a maritime embargo, a no-fly zone, frozen assets, and a diplomatic war - what should this isolated superhuman regime be like? We were able to ... stand firm, because the people, our people, are with us. " 14

If we ignore the obvious propaganda coloring of these testimonies, we can conclude that in the first case we are talking about a really noticeable number of supporters of the regime (most likely, several hundred thousand, if we try to find a "middle ground" between the understated data of the Western media and the exaggerated ones of the former Libyan authorities). However, even if we agree with the most modest figures, it is worth considering that for Libya, whose population is only 6 million people, even tens of thousands is already a significant number. It is impossible to expect that all these people will disappear overnight, or change their position, and therefore, in a true democracy, their opinion should be taken into account.

The second fact indicates the relative viability of the regime (by the time the statement was made, the armed confrontation had already lasted for about six months) and indicates that the army, despite cases of desertion (the most notable of which was the defection to the rebels of Interior Minister Abdul Fatah Younis on February 22, 2011), acted as a whole, on the side of Gaddafi 15.

By way of comparison, it is worth noting that Gaddafi himself came to power at the head of a protest movement that originated precisely in the army: the coup of September 1, 1969 in Libya took place according to the same scenario as the revolution in Egypt on July 23, 1952 led by Gamal Abdel Nasser16.

In both cases, there were almost no casualties 17 (in contrast to the armed confrontation in Libya in 2011, during which at least 30 thousand people were killed, according to Libyan sources, and 50 thousand were injured 18). Moreover, the involvement of the " third party "in the overthrow of the regime was discussed. forces " the unionist officers could not even imagine, since the very presence of foreign military bases on the territory of Libya and Egypt was then perceived - from the position of the main pan - Arab nationalist attitudes-as a manifestation of colonialism and a sign of incomplete political independence, and therefore a challenge to statehood.

The historical feature of the 2011 revolution was not only NATO's involvement on the rebel side, but also the intervention of Al-Qaeda, which, in addition to the media-documented recognition of one of the main warlords, 19 is also indicated by the fact that its "black banner flew over a public building in Benghazi" 20. "Gaddafi mercenaries" 21-and this definition included almost all black people who were in Libya at that time - was actively used by the rebels both during the armed confrontation and after, as a kind of justification for racial killings.22

Another difference in the September 1, 1969 revolution: Despite their outspoken hatred of the former corrupt regime,"whose sickening stench terrified us all," 23 the members of the Revolutionary Command Council (SRC) that came to power were restricted to life imprisonment.-

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the expulsion from the country of their deposed leader, King Idris.

There was no torture, no public execution, no subsequent repeated demonstrations on all the world's leading news channels, no footage of a dead, bloodied "trophy" on the floor of a supermarket freezer, and the craving for photographing corpses at that time distinguished only those who had previously established "order" in Libya by order of Mussolini..

This, together with a number of other characteristic features of the Libyan "Arab Spring", such as the already mentioned lustration law, the planned split of the country25, as well as the decision of the US administration to assist the Libyan authorities in training local security forces (although not directly on the territory of the state, but, apparently, for similar reasons However, judging by the ambiguous statement of US Defense officials that "NATO's experience in training security forces in Afghanistan and Iraq gives them the necessary competence to do something similar with Libya" 26), the "Libyan scenario" is increasingly converging with the Iraqi one.

The ten-year-long transition to democracy in Iraq is accompanied by bitter irony and an unexpected turn of anti-American sentiment among the population: "[Now] I wish the Americans had never been here. They destroyed our country. They sowed discord... They made us mourn the days of [rule] Saddam Hussein"27.

I would like to hope that the future of the new Libya will not be so bleak, 28 and that the Libyan leadership will not have to make an ideological move similar to the Egyptian one, complaining that "Islamists have taken victory from the revolution." 29 Information dust and constantly changing banners on the Libyan battlefield will eventually have to give way to a sober one. a realistic assessment of all historical periods, softened by halftones, and not completely cut by blades of black and white. This is exactly what will serve as one of the proofs of the real maturity of the nation and its readiness to continue building the future of its country in a balanced and deliberate manner.


Gaddafi M. 1 Death (translated from the Arabic by A. Podtserob) / / Asia and Africa Today. 2001, No. 2, p. 71.

Travis J. 2 Vatican: Gaddafi's death marks end of 'harsh and oppressive' regime - http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2011/10/ 21/vatican-gaddafis-death-marks-end-of-harsh-and-oppressive-regime/

Gumuchian M., Shennib G. 3 Embassy attack spreads Libyan instability to capital - http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/24/us-libya-security-idUSBRE93N0ZG20130424

Katulis B. Juul P. 4 The real scandal in Libya: A Security vacuum and new terrorist threats - http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/ security /news/2013/05/15/63501/the-real-scandal-in-libya-a-security-vacuum-and-new-terrorist-threats/

Waduge S. 5 Cost of killing Gaddafi - http://www.srilankaguardian. org/2011/10/cost-of-killing-gaddafi.html

Harding L. 6 Libya after Gaddafi: now the hard work begins -http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/oct/21/libya-after-gaddafi-analysis

7 Libyan youth voices: 10 successes since the Revolution -http://internationalpoliticalforum.com/libyan-youth-voices-10-successes-since-the-revolution/

8 Political isolation Law: the full text - http://www.liby-aherald.com/2013/05/14/political-isolation-law-the-full-text/

Head J. 9 Should Libya rebuild Gaddafi's hometown of Sirte? -http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-16961376; Gadhafi's ghost haunts Libya - http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/gadhafis-ghost-haunts-libya.aspx?pageID-238&nid-12178

Brenzel K. 10 In Libya, new media freedom is uncertain -http://www.cjr.org/behind_the_news/libya_media_freedom_tightening .php?page-all

11 For example, former rebels blocked the work of the Libyan Interior Ministry for a week - http://www.afriquejet.com/ncws/9187-libya-interior-ministry-re-opens-for-business.html

12 Libya Crisis: Thousands at Tripoli pro-Gaddafi rally// сайт "Би-би-си" - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-13998833

13 http://www.intifada-palestine.com/2011/07/one-third-of-libya-turns-out-to-support-qaddafi-i n-worlds-largest-march-ever/; www.voltairenet.org/articlel70830.html

14 http://libyadiary.wordpress.com/2011/08/08/moussa-ibrahim-the-majer-massacre/

15 Commenting on the situation in Gaddafi's army, American military analyst, professor at the Institute for Strategic Studies V. E. Terrill notes: "Thus, refusal to comply with [Gaddafi's] illegal orders was the exception, not the rule" - see: Terrill W. A. Lessons of the Iraq De-Ba'athification Program for Iraq's future and the Arab Revolutions / / Strategic Studies Institute, 2012, p. 75 - http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/pdffiles/PUB1106.pdf

Abdel Nasser H.G. 16 Biography. A historical sketch of President Gamal Abdel Nasser - http://nasser.bibalex.org/ Common/picturesOl-%20sira_en.htm#4

17 1952: Egyptian army ousts Prime Minister - http://news.bbc.co. uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/september/7/newsid_3074000/ 3074069.stm; 1969: Bloodless coup in Libya - http://news.bbc.co.uk/ ont-hisday/hi/dates/stories/september/1 /newsid_3911000/ 3911587.stm

18 Libyan revolution casualties lower than expected, says new government - http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jan/08/libyan-revolution-casualties-lower-expected-gover nment At least 30,000 killed, 50,000 wounded in Libyan conflict -http://www.tripolipost.com/articledetail.aspVc-1&i=6862

Swami P. 19 Libyan rebel commander admits his fighters have al-Qacda links - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/ africaandindianocean/libya/8407047/Libyan-rebel-commander-admits-his-fighters-have-al-Qaed a-links.html

20 Libya: al-Qaeda flag flown above Benghazi courthouse -http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/lib у a/8861608/Libya-Al-Qaeda-flag-flown-above-Benghazi-courthouse.html

Ray С. 21 Gaddafi and the mercenary myth - http://www.huf-fingtonpost.com/carina-ray/gaddafi-mercenaries_b_983506.html

22 Libya: NTC must take control to prevent spiral of abuses -http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/report/libya-ntc-must-take-control-prevent-spiral- abuses-2011 - 09 - 12; Human Rights Watch report on the Tawergha - http://humanrightsinvestigations.org/2013/ 03/20/human-rights-watch-report-tawergha/

Kawczynski D. 23 Seeking Gaddafi. London, 2010, p. 18

24 http://www.kalamullah.com/lion-of-the-desert.html

25 Libya: Semi-autonomy declared by leaders in East -http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-17271431

Casert R., Baldor L. 26 NATO to send expert mission to Libya -http://news.yahoo.com/nato-send-expert-mission-libya-154636972.html

Hussain M. 27 Iraq, Syria and the death of the modern Middle East -http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2013/05/201356720043791 9.html

28 According to Professor Terrill, "fortunately, there are a certain number of Libyans who seem to take the events in Iraq as a warning" - see: Terrill W. A. Op. cit., p. 71 - http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/pdffilcs/PUB1106.pdf

29 Egypt's revolution hijacked, country 'falling apart': El-Baradei -http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2013/04/09/Egypt-s-revolution-hijacked-count ry-falling-apart-FJBaradei.html


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