Gaddafi Story Ended With a Whimper

Dr. Ashraf Ezzat


Regardless of the ambiguity that shrouded the eruption of the Libyan popular uprising, regardless of the various conspiracy theories that tried – and still are –to somehow find a hidden foreign agenda behind this armed revolution, regardless of the many apologists for the Gaddafi’s regime who elaborated on his good deeds and achievements for the Libyans during the last four decades … one simple and utterly painful truth remains, that Muammar Gaddafi held nothing for the Libyan people but sheer contempt.

On his first speech that followed the start of the Libyan uprising last February and as he was threatening to turn Libya into a bloodbath Gaddafi defiantly disparaged the rebels as he shouted “who are you, anyway?”

With the assistance of oil revenues, Libya’s small population has enjoyed one of the continent’s high rates of economic growth and social welfare and medical services but still the Libyans remained politically and educationally impoverished as the colonel always believed that the Libyans needed nothing to learn in this modern world except the whimsical teachings and political theories he laid down in his so called green book.

Gaddafi is an obvious case of a megalomaniac in power, but what has been more sickening is the shameful acquiescence of the majority of the Libyan masses to be led, like a flock of sheep, by such a lunatic.

Gaddafi liked to be referred to as “Brother Leader” but actually he has never been a brother nor a leader to his fellow Libyan citizens.

 Gaddafi was a brutal dictator who squandered not only the fortunes of Libya but more importantly forty two years of the country’s modern history on sheer political narcissism and personal whims.

Gaddafi, like the case with many other Arab leaders, brutally and solely ruled over Libyans for 4 long decades, he brutally subjugated them, and referred to them as rats and cockroaches and hence his end has been no less brutal. And with a whimper, not a bang this one man-show ended.

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We Are All Neo-Cons Now

 “If Obama is pursuing policies similar to those taken by George W. Bush, why do we not see any giant protests against him from the Left, of the kind regularly seen during the Bush years?”


Recently, some of our most able pundits have been arguing that neoconservatism is dead. As usual, The Daily Beast’s Peter Beinart leads the pack. He could not have stated his case more clearly than here: “the ideology that 9/11 made famous — neoconservatism — has died.” Beinart is certain of this. His evidence? Al-Qaeda is finished; not only Osama bin Laden is dead, but now his second in command, Abd al-Rahman, has been killed by the U.S. No longer is jihadism a major threat, “a threat on par with Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union,” he argues. It is “sliding into irrelevance,” leaving the U.S. with quite a different challenge — that of China’s authoritarian capitalism. What killed al-Qaeda, he says, is “exactly the narrow targeted policies that neoconservatives derided.”

Obama has gained his ends through intelligence and drone strikes, Beinart argues, and any resulting democracy in the Middle East comes not from the United States, but from the local rebellion of young Muslims. He also argues that Republican candidates are not attacking the president along neoconservative lines; instead, they largely avoid the issue, since they “have little appetite for the neconservative agenda of continued war in the Middle East.”

He implies that we should get out of Afghanistan, because it is not worth the cost of American lives, and because we can’t afford it. Right or wrong, the money is not there, something he says neoconservatives never paid attention to. America, he says — sounding like a conservative — must pay attention to limits, and we must hold in our grandiose ambitions.

Is Beinart right? First, let us point to a factor he pays little attention to: that despite a confused and ambivalent doctrine in foreign policy, President Obama is pursuing much of the same “neo-con” policies advocated by George W. Bush and Dick Cheney in their administration. No one has made a stronger case for this than Walter Russell Mead. Obama’s defenders, he writes,

must also squirm; in general, President Obama succeeds where he adopts or modifies the policies of the Bush administration. Where (as on Israel) he has tried to deviate, his troubles begin.

He writes the following:

The most irritating argument anyone could make in American politics is that President Obama, precisely because he seems so liberal, so vacillating, so nice, is a more effective neoconservative than President Bush. As is often the case, the argument is so irritating partly because it is so true.

President Obama is pushing a democracy agenda in the Middle East that is as aggressive as President Bush’s; he adopts regime change by violence if necessary as a core component of his regional approach and, to put it mildly, he is not afraid to bomb.

And finally, the heart of Mead’s case:

In many ways we are living through George W. Bush’s third term in the Middle East, and neither President Obama’s friends nor his enemies want to admit it. President Obama, in his own way and with his own twists, continues to follow the core Bush policy of nudging and sometimes pushing nasty regimes out of power, aligning the US with the wave of popular discontent in the region even as that popular sentiment continues to dislike, suspect and reject many aspects of American power and society. And that policy continues to achieve ambivalent successes: replacing old and crustily anti-American regimes, rooted deeply in the culture of terror and violence within and beyond their borders, with weaker, more open and — on some issues at least — more accommodating ones.

In Libya, as we have seen, a humanitarian effort became, in reality, a use of force to promote regime change. True, he moved too slowly, and casualties may have been avoided had he promoted his real aim from the start. And in Syria, he began by proclaiming Assad a “reformer,” only to finally, in the past few weeks, call for the Syrian dictator to step down. Yet, as Mead concludes, “half way through President Obama’s tenure in office, we can see that regime change and democracy promotion remain the basis of American strategy in the Middle East — and that force is not excluded when it comes to achieving American aims.”  So Mead writes — somewhat I think with tongue in cheek — “the Bush-Obama agenda marches on.”

Writing in the Washington Post Reuel Marc Gerecht and Mark Dubowitz present more arguments similar to those invoked by Mead. As they put it:

President Obama used American power to liberate a Muslim people. Like George W. Bush, Obama came into office with a narrower, “humbler” conception of America’s interests abroad. In his first visit to the region, he confused the majesty of Islam with the dignity of Muslim potentates. Sept. 11, 2001, transformed Bush. We must wait to see whether the Great Arab Revolt has permanently changed Obama.

The final answer is not yet in, but these authors argue that the reasons for supporting the Syrian opponents of Assad are as great as those used by Obama for wanting to save the people of Benghazi, whom Qadaffi had threatened. Aligned with Iran, and headquarters for Hezbollah, Syria is a greater threat to the U.S. and the region than was Libya. Forcing the end of the Assad regime may be easier. Rather than use military resources, it can be done with tougher sanctions, along with arm twisting of European allies. And, they point out, the U.S. can now give funds to the united Syrian opposition, which includes striking auto workers. It can also provide communications hardware, including wi-fi equipment.

The authors conclude:

Barack Obama is the son of an African Muslim and an American woman who dedicated her life to the Third World. He is tailor-made to lead the United States in expanding democracy to the most unstable, autocratic and religiously militant region of the globe. The president obviously hasn’t seen himself as that kind of “friend of Islam.” But the Great Arab Revolt is transforming the way Arab Muslims see themselves. It may do the same for Barack Obama.

This means, as Michael Ledeen points out on his PJMedia blog today, the Syrian regime is the main danger to our interests, along with Iran, and as he writes, “if it’s right to intervene in Libya to stop the carnage, is there not even more reason to stop the greater carnage in Syria and Iran?” And the means to help them is the same taken by the Reagan administration, of which Ledeen was a part, when it gave overt aid to the anti-Communists Solidarity members in Poland. It does not have to be via bombing or troops, but through the kind of support and aid that Ledeen has long advocated.

Finally, I offer some thoughts on an obvious problem. If Obama is pursuing policies similar to those taken by George W. Bush, why do we not see any giant protests against him from the Left, of the kind regularly seen during the Bush years? Where are Cindy Sheehan, Michael Moore, the anti-war marches on Washington, the condemnation of Obama for killing civilians in drone attacks, for keeping Guantanamo open, for using rendition, and for giving up on civilian trials of terrorists and proceeding with military tribunals?

All of these were brought up day in and day out against the Bush administration, and now we have nothing but silence. Does the Left really think that all they screamed about is now good, because this time it is being carried out by an African-American president whom they supported?

Of course, the Left was always wrong when it condemned Bush and Cheney. While the president may himself reevaluate his position and move from where he started out, as Gerecht and Dubowitz hope he will, the organized left wing will not. I think that their quiet is motivated only by one thing alone — to attack President Obama is to, in essence, attack their own cadres, whom they pushed to do the hard work in 2008 to get Obama elected. To reevaluate openly is to harm their own credibility, so they prefer to remain silent and hope that no one will notice.

At least we know one thing now. At our present historical moment, contrary to Beinart, Jacob Heilbrunn of The National Interest, and others, we are now all neocons.

Ronald Radosh is an Adjunct Senior Fellow at The Hudson Institute, and a Prof. Emeritus of History at the City University of New York. He is the author or co-author of 14 books.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Pyramidion’s editorial policy.

Mission Accomplished in Libya for Obama and Coalition

“But then, why announce that Gaddafi has to go when the White House still has second thoughts and doubts about the Libyan rebels and who they really are. Why lead a coalition of the willing to militarily intervene in Libya when they are not yet so willing to kick Gaddafi out of the country”


“Things were moving too fast and too dangerous as well. This contagion of popular uprisings had to be dealt with; they had to be, if not stopped, at least held back. In other words, the Arab spring had to lose its spontaneity and finally its momentum”

Dr. Ashraf Ezzat

Politics is a dirty game but we tend to ignore this fact all the time.

Gaddafi has lost legitimacy in Libya and he has to go”

…thus went President Obama about the popular uprising that was undergoing in Libya with rebels from east of the country taking Benghazi as their stronghold and core of the revolution.
In the wake of two strong popular uprisings that sent President Ben Ali of Tunisia on a plane to Saudi Arabia and President Mubarak of Egypt to Sharm el Sheikh Resort on the Red Sea, the day the upheaval began in Libya the world expected to see Gaddafi on a jet plane heading to Venezuela.

But that was wishful thinking driven by the powerful revolutionary tide that was sweeping across North Africa and the Middle East. No one knew then that the tide was going to slow down and the Arab spring to fade away in Libya.

False flag operation

But first let’s settle this predicament and try to clearly answer the question of whether what is happening in Libya a popular uprising or some false flag operation meant to reshuffle the players in the Libyan oil game… and another question of who wants to see – the brother leader, Gaddafi- kicked out of the rule in Libya?

Whose interest would a Gaddafi-free Libya serve?

Ousting Gaddafi is hard to fit as serving the American’s interest nor the European’s considering the long 40 years that passed by with Gaddafi as the head of the Libyan oil state with no one grumbling about it from the west.  Especially after 2003 which witnessed the honeymoon with the new Gaddafi who had abandoned his support for terrorism as requested from him and dismantled his never really- existed program of weapons of mass destruction immediately following the moment he had wet his pants watching his long pal, Saddam Hussein, captured by the gallant American soldiers, after being hiding like a rat in some filthy spider hole near his hometown of Tikrit in Iraq.

With almost every giant oil corporation, form Exxon, BP and Chevron to Petro China and ENI having a nice slice of the cake would another military and political turmoil in Libya be anything except another out of-business phase for them all reminiscent of the 17 years (1986-2003) that denied all world oil corporations the exploration and investment in the oil and gas in Libya following the American bombing and the UN sanctions imposed on the country since 1992 over the Lockerbie bombing case.

Investing in an unpredictable political upheaval that changed into an ugly armed struggle between Gaddafi’s loyalists and the Libyan rebels with neither party capable of winning it over is hardly the right calculated risk for any major oil giant even if it was a French corporation with Mr.Sarkozy himself endorsing it and pushing hard for a chivalrous odyssey dawn in Libya.

Al Qaeda affiliates in Libya


But then why announce that Gaddafi has to go when the White House still has second thoughts and doubts about the Libyan rebels and who they really are.  Why lead a coalition of the willing to militarily intervene in Libya when they are not yet so willing to kick Gaddafi out of the country?

Why go on an alleged humanitarian mission and try to sell the world this scenario while still testing the water for the likes of Osama bin laden in Libya?
The mighty United States has been waging a relentless – and rather meaningless- war on terrorism for almost 10 years now and till this moment the CIA is apparently clueless about the real existence and the influence of the so called al Qaeda in the Arab world and in Libya in particular.

What really has been bewildering throughout the last decade is the fact that the Arab world never knew such thing as the al Qaeda organization and yet it seems that the USA has been acting in this farcical war on terrorism on the most misleading and fake intelligence.

And in the light of the scanty and rather inconclusive data the United States with its European allies began to identify those Arabic Muslims who have been busy caught up in fierce desert battles for weeks now by the way they looked and talked in news footage from the mainstream media.

And so in a way reminiscent of how the Nazis soldiers identified the Jews- by their rituals and costumes- in Eastern Europe back during WWII the Muslim rebels in eastern Libya with their beards unshaven for weeks and their shouting “Allahu Akbar” whenever they managed to stand up for Gaddafi forces or seize back a newly liberated town looked a bit like the militant jihadists who followed bin Laden in Afghanistan to the White House.

So, secretary Clinton began to talk about al Qaeda affiliated groups in Benghazi and president Obama refrained from mentioning the Libyan transitional National council (TNC) in his speech about the intervention in Libya as if they never existed.

And this was Gaddafi’s moment of relief and a twist of fate for the rebels.

Stalemate, is the name of the game

On handing over the command of the operations to NATO, and with this obvious inclination of the United States to take a back seat and enjoy the panoramic odyssey dawn from afar, the NATO began to take it easy on Gaddafi and bring some dramatic excitement to the battlefield as recurrent incidents of friendly fire began to be reported to which NATO firmly stood unapologetic.

With the rebels getting the feeling they are being let down by a coalition of the so far, so unwilling, to end this mess up, and with the fluid situation on the ground the Libyan uprising has perfectly and conveniently reached its preplanned stalemate point.

Now the mainstream media is talking about the Libyan uprising no more, rather they talk of a fluid military situation with never meant to oust Gaddafi intervention. Along with the undergoing diplomatic efforts to settle this war in Libya and with the NATO allowing brokers from Europe and the African union to meet with the two conflicting sides the situation in Libya has been intendedly steered towards this diplomatic and military stalemate.

Ever since this unprecedented and abrupt popular uprisings in the Arab world with its frightening and uncontrollable domino effect began and the west has been watching in amazement those unfolding revolutions as they toppled the strong men of the west in the Middle East one by one and taking down with them years of political plans and partnership in the region.

The United States and the west had been taken by surprise in Tunisia and Egypt; they were simply outpaced and outsmarted by the power of the people there. The same power that thought it was time to ask Gaddafi to go.

And as the imperialist interests began to be threatened and totally drifted out of control, the west just couldn’t stand watching for too long, they had to intervene some way or another to control this catastrophic domino effect and try to save the day in North Africa and the Middle East and this is where Libya came in, and in the right moment with its psychic and paranoid dictator whose reckless reactions would be the perfect excuse for the Americans and the allies to step in and save the Libyan people the same way they saved the Iraqi’s with their similarly paranoid and reckless, Saddam Hussein.

Sarkozy woke up one morning to find bin Ali of Tunisia gone and Obama the other morning also found himself unable to even allow Mubarak to stay for the few left months of his term in office conducting what he called a transitional period.

Things were moving too fast and too dangerous as well. This contagion of popular uprisings had to be dealt with; they had to be, if not stopped, at least held back. In other words, the Arab spring had to lose its spontaneity and finally its momentum.

This is exactly what happened after the west had intervened in Libya. The tide of the revolution has been interrupted not only in Libya but elsewhere in the Arab world; the uprisings that were starting in Morocco, Oman, Algeria and Iraq had been put to rest days later, the Bahrain unrest has been cut off from the mainstream media coverage and Saudi security forces were sent to forcibly control the situation there with not a flicker of comment or objection from the United States or the freedom loving Europeans.

Thousands of Yemenis have been marching in the streets for almost a month now but with president Saleh emboldened by what happened in Libya and with the absence of any international objection to his dodging the protesters demands not to mention the potent support of the Saudi kingdom the situation in Yemen reached almost the same stalemate point Libya did.


And when it was time for the Syrian storm to start, the general Arabic mood was intoxicated with endless scenes of blood, coffins, new promises, new cabinets, compromises, European and African brokers and deadlock situations everywhere.

USA and the NATO under the cover of yet another noble and humanitarian world mission managed to not only save the day for Gaddafi in Libya, but also to hinder this fervent domino effect in the Arab world that was resketching the region’s political map and menacingly encroaching upon the rich with oil Gulf countries and the rest of Israel’s allies and this is where the red line had to be drawn.

The odyssey dawn will be regarded as a mission accomplished in Libya and the rest of the Arab world. Gaddafi and many other dictators in the Arab world might have won some time by this no-fly zone operation but eventually they are bound to get on the same departure plane that Ben Ali and Mubarak had been aboard.

Due to this inconclusive intervention in Libya the Arab spring has been prematurely interrupted, but soon, new dawn will undoubtedly break. And next time it will not be the odyssey of the coalition military adventure but rather of Arabs’ continued quest for freedom.

DR. ASHRAF EZZAT: No-Fly Zone to Stop the No-Flow of Oil in Libya

DR. ASHRAF EZZAT: No-Fly Zone to Stop the No-Flow of Oil in Libya.

“Be it a popular uprising or not so popular, the crucial thing is that this no-fly zone must stop this no-flow of oil from Libya to Europe and USA, a situation that if kept going could drag a newly recovered western economy back to recession”

ARAB UPRISINGS: Time-Out For Israel Is Over

ARAB UPRISINGS: Time-Out For Israel Is Over.

History is taking a new turn in the Middle East and so is the Arab-Israeli conflict.

DR. ASHRAF EZZAT: Will America Make The Right Choice In Libya?

The capture of a paranoid dictator was the pretext for the American invasion of Iraq; will history repeat itself in Libya?

via DR. ASHRAF EZZAT: Will America Make The Right Choice In Libya?.