Before we go far in any which way, let us first agree on some definitions, and try to reach an understanding, as to the validity of certain terms, which will be filtering through what I’m about to write in this brief article. Alfateh (the conqueror), revolution, Jamaheriya, Mathaba (refuge or sanctuary), Al'alami (universal) this, and Al'adheem (the great) that.
- Alfateh (the conqueror): meant conquering, through terror and intimidation, the free spirited Libyans and subjugating them, while on the world stage it meant defeat and humiliation even at the hands of the world’s most rag-tag armies as in neighboring Chad and elsewhere. Everywhere Alfateh emerges with its ugly head, it leaves in its wake nothing but blood and tears.
- Jamaheriya: in Gadhafi speak (Dawlat Alhoqara’). In other words "yokels of the world, scum of the earth, unite; let Gadhafi leads you, you have nothing to loose but what is left of your humanity and dignity."
- Mathaba: it’s the place where the thugs of the lejan plan their criminal activities, and to which they return after carrying them out.
- Al'alami: an airport in Tripoli, built to welcome some of Africa’s great heads and tails of states but was shutdown for eight years on the orders of uncle Sam.
- Al'othma: see above under Jamaheriya! Gadhafi added it to Jamaheriya, after the American bombing raid in 1986, which lasted for 11 minutes. People said, he would have to call it ('atham Allahu ajrak) if the raid lasted another ten minutes.
- Al'atheem: in Gadhafi speak, it means the great man made pipeline of the Sahara (as in the great wall of China). It’s being built by the great people of Dong-Ah, of South Korea, with the help of the great people of Brown and Roots, of Houston, to compete with the great pyramids of Giza.
- Al-Nathariya Al'alamiya #3: The first Nathariya (1956-58) (... ...) for dummies! Or how not to (... ... ...). The second Nathariya (1977-?), explains "How to make enemies, kill relatives and friends and influence people by terror and/or dollar" and as a corollary "taking the time to build Johnstown for your followers, not in Guyana but in Sirte!"
- Gadhafi: One who vomits blood. So, Vayamos!
Now, let’s join the rational human beings, by speaking their language, and finding out what do we mean when we speak of the revolution, the state, the citizen, the civic society, and the relationship between them? How much do we, as people, understand or appreciate the meaning of each and every term as it relates to our situation in a land called Libya, suffering under a medieval regime called Jamaheriya?
First and foremost, we can agree that for one reason or another, as Libyans in particular and Arabs in general, we have come to hold a romantic illusion about the term "Revolution". Instead of what it really is or has been throughout the human history, we perceive revolution as the panacea for all that ails our body politics. From a practical point of view, the results are not at all encouraging, if not disappointing. In the midst of our MENA (Middle East & North Africa) revolution became the instrument, by which we were for ever marching to liberate Palestine, cultivate the deserts, unite the masses and last but not least, the magical wand by which we were going to ‘create’ the new revolutionary citizen (khalq al-insan althawri aljadeed)!!! As if to say God creates junk!!!.
The reality is that, revolution, to the man in the street became synonymous with failures and worse yet, helplessness in the face of life’s challenges. Arab intellectual delinquents, whose thoughts permeated Gadhafi’s words and chartered his actions, had cultivated their confused ideology, from two mutually exclusive sources, namely Islam and nationalism. Islamists, on one hand, with an eye on the Khelafa mausoleum in Istanbul viewed the nationalists as enemies of God and country. Nationalists, for their part, and in collusion with the colonialists of the period, saw their historical chance of removing Islamic ideology and ideologues, once and for all, from the political stage in a step with colonial Europe which has totally decreed the divorce of religion and politics. With the failure of both camps to achieve any meaningful advance in pursuit of their eternal goals, the stage was set for the government of one man, by one man, and for one man and his family. Whether as a king, an Amir, Sultan, a president or a mere "brother leader" who has forgone the royal and presidential palaces of his brethren in Jeddah, Amman, Cairo and Baghdad for a bulletproof RVs and designer tents, it makes little difference, if any, to his subjects. The one-man rule became more the rule than the exception.
When used in conjunction with the Arabs, political terms such as the ‘state’ and the ‘citizen’ have lost their meanings from their origins in the Greek’s city-states to modern day political theory. The president or king in the language of states and citizens, became for the Arabs; the leader, the strong man, the Amir, the Sultan the Amir-Almoo’mineen, the Khadim Alharameen…etc., etc. Buminiar has come to believe (among other things!) that the West wouldn’t hold him responsible for he wasn’t a head of state. "If you don’t have a state, his conventional wisdom goes, then, how can you have a head?" And so he believed!!. It goes without saying that, if you don’t have a head of state, because you don’t have a state that needs a head, it follows that citizens don’t enter in this damned statehood equation. How about a PA in the WB? Palestinian Authority in the West Bank that is, fits just fine for the Arab rulers to add to their collection of headless, stateless, and citizen-less domains.
The tribe is the only component of a civic society in our world, and I mean Arab world, as the rest of humanity calls us. Because, we are, in their view, a world of its own, apart form the known world. Beside royalties of ancient empires, Arab rulers, such as Gadhafi, are the only damned living creatures who put their heads on the currencies of their countries. What do we have from the modern day state paraphernalia? We have a leeward chameleon for a flag, a flagship airline that doesn’t fly, but kills, a currency that is not worth the paper it is printed on, a calendar nobody can understand or use. Furthermore we have a Radio and TV with one voice and one face, borders that only keeps our people out, and wealth that brought us nothing but poverty and misery. A nation deserves the government it gets!.
Revolution by definition, as stated in Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, is "a sudden, radical, or complete change". In the political arena, revolution came to be known as the overthrow and replacement of a government or political system by using or the threat of using force. To the communists, revolution meant the overthrow of one class (the bourgeoisie) by the proletariat. Of course in other spheres of human activities, socially, economically, scientifically…etc., there have been revolutions of great magnitude, but to us, Libyans and Arabs alike, those revolutions are beyond our scope of understanding and or our limited attempts at revolting. We only know the revolution of the few for the many, a revolution, by proxy. The pre-dawn revolution, by few army officers, on behalf of the rest, who are usually content and peacefully snoring in their warm beds. To us, there is a positive value attached to revolution and nobody can tell why? This could be surviving in our subconscious, when the only true and positive revolution occurred more than 14 centuries ago, but unfortunately, Arabs have spent the intervening period dismantling it. The result, as we can now see, is a mish-mash of social, economical and political system cloaked in religious dogmas, and obviously marching to the tune of different drums and moving in the opposite direction with the rest of humanity.
When the ‘leaky leader!’ threatens, as he often does, the Islamists by swearing to reviving the Kemal Ataturk’s legacy, or threatens the Pan-Arabists of the impending invasion of the Islamists, he knows that he is fighting last century’s battles and victory is no doubt his. This lunatic with hundreds of billions of Uncle Sam’s dollars, and a legion of cheap, Libyan, Arab, and non-Arab mercenaries, is liable to buy his way into history books. Presidents and their regimes as in Egypt and other African fiefdoms, Kings and their courts as in Saudia, Jordan and Morocco, and European mercantile regimes as the French, German, Italian and the British have been more than ready and willing to exchange principles for dollars. On the other side of midnight, the Libyan citizens who have been systematically deprived of their basic human rights and basic needs as a result of the selfish policies perpetrated by the this unholy alliance. Against the backdrop of unimaginable and mostly insurmountable odds, the Libyan citizen, is being asked today, more than ever, to face up to his reasons for being, rise up, bring down Gadhafi’s designer tents on his and his kids heads. It is about time that he/she grasps the historical moment and become a full and proud citizen in the Future Libyan state, and not a mere number or a name in the Family Booklet (Kotaib Al'a’elah) in Gadhafi’s Hamajiyah.
Ladies and gentlemen!, stop calling what has took place in Libya almost 32 years ago INQELAB and admit that, by any definition, it was a real revolution. You might not like it, but, surprise! It is a revolution and not the so-called INQELAB -'ASKARI. The only way to reverse the damage is by carrying out what is known as counter-revolution. Mansour El-Kikhia once said that Gadhafi’s regime would fall under its own weight. He meant that he made too many mistakes and enemies that will come back to haunt him. He never said to hunt him down though!. Gadhafi’s real enemies and victims are inside, and he knows, that he is marking time, before his victims will come to hunt him down. By his own admission, he wrote in one of his hell inspired stories, about his fears of facing the same fait as Mussolini, Danton, Robspiere, and Murat.
Gadhafi’s nightmares come from the real danger that he knows is coming, but he can’t predict when, nor plan for. He has written about his imaginary experience in hell by saying, " how cruel are the citizens, when they rise up and act together". The outside world is busy talking about the brush fires that the lunatic keeps fanning everywhere, to draw the attention away from his real inferno inside the country. His fait is sealed and he knows it.
By making peace (?) with Menem Elhoni and other old and newly domesticated dogs, and ordering his (paid for!) government of Egypt, to reopen the case of the disappearance of Mansour Kikhia, Buminiar is trying to rearrange the chairs on the deck of the titanic. But, the iceberg or to be more politically correct, the "Gibli" sandstorm is gaining strength by the minute and will soon come calling on his Gucci designed tent in the heart of the Sirt Desert, by then it will be too late to "Escape to Hell". An adolescent leadership with ill- informed opinions and followers is a recipe for disaster. Let the lunatic of Sirte know that it may be dangerous to believe that flipping 31 heads in a row improve the odds that the next flip of a coin will result in another head. The day of reckoning is at hand if only (few) Libyans decide that they have had enough of this tragic comedy. Libyans from all walks of life, are required today more than ever to face up to the task of freeing themselves and their country from the stranglehold that, unchallenged Gadhafi gang, has been exercising for over three decades. Gadhafi and his gang have yet to know what it means to be exacted a price for ill-conceived actions they have been taking. They have killed, maimed, imprisoned, destroyed and stole property with impunity for the last three decades. It is time that their loyalty to this HOBAL be tested. It is time for them and him too, to know what it feels to lose your child, to lose a dear childhood friend, a father, a brother or sister. To expect them to modify their behavior, they need to experience this first hand. They need to know, they ought to know, they will know!
For over three decades Gadhafi and his lackeys lived and acted as if in a time and place outside of the realm of reality for the rest of the country. They lived a parallel existence to the rest of society, but now comes the time for the two seperated at birth to cross paths in a dialectic fashion so that a new Libya may come into being.