« You are wrong to be right on your own against the whole world! »
It’s a quote about Syria, but it could have been thrown at me after my first observation journey to Libya in August 2011…
What remains of Libya and the great declarations supporting the “revolution”?
Where are those responsible, who led the country by the leash through the chaosit now finds itself in? And where are the tenors of the media who supported them, reinforced by high-flown titles? Where are the eulogists of Western interventionism, who abused terms that shouldn’t be tarnished by incompetence: “revolution”, “democracy”, “freedom”? We do not hear them any more.
Between a failed state coup and an Islamic insurrection, Libya is today split, torn apart by the tribal chiefs and the desires of the clans who share the remains of this state, “imagined” by the Italian colonisers and built on the ruins of the Ottoman Empire.
I remember writing about “demons and shadows” in this country after my first contact with the “Libyan revolution”… In the field it was obvious.
The tribes did not fight within a national framework –which only existed in Libya under the yoke of the dictator– and certainly not for any idea of democracy.
The chiefs actually were only waiting to recover the control over their traditional territories; to that end they used the collapse of the authorities in Tripoli, swept away by French and British strikes, Atlantic bombing –which eventually annihilated the city of Sirte at the price of about 50.000 bodies, which were carefully removed from the ruins and discretely buried in the neighbouring desert.
As for the Berbers of the Djebel Nafusa, they dreamt open-eyed of independence, whilst in the shadows the religious fanatics waited for the right time to announce their terrible intentions.
But the few occidental vultures, hunger-bitten by the perfume of petrol and gas, lusting to end the “Guide’s” Africanist provocations, overheard the rare voices announcing the disaster.
Three years later, these birds of prey have withdrawn, sheepish, downcast, discouraged, they, who had thought to have put their foot on the Libyan fortune with a “transitional” pseudo-government –former Gaddafists who turned around at the last minute and some naive human rights activists used for the situation as moral saints. But they passed onto other things and the Libyan population dies a little more with every new day God makes.
Back then they had hissed me and a bit everywhere I was called “the friend of Gaddafi”, apparently the “defender of the regime”, “opposed to the democracy in making”. Me, a Gaddafist? Really? Should the dictator have been kept in power? Certainly not! But was it wise, for that matter, to hurry towards an artificial state within the chaos, which the observers knew would show cracks in many parts straightaway?
Reading today’s press, I get the wrong impression of a return, three years back, into my own writings. Sometimes I need to pinch myself to be sure that I am not having a nightmare.
What was qualified as witchcraft three years ago, subsequently fought and ridiculed by arrogant and omnipotent opinion makers, has now become proof.
Am I pretentious?
Perhaps a little bit… But exhausted above all; unnerved, disgusted, embittered. And powerless.
Concerning those responsible for these eulogies, of whom I asked at the beginning of this editorial where they are now, I lied. To handle the suspense of the writing.
It is not true that “we do not hear them anymore”. They are still there, as arrogant and omnipotent as before, well-placed in the columns of the dominant media. The same names, but with a changed repertoire. And everybody is fine with this; or more precisely, nobody noticed.
The words, which a certain chief editor of the Monde Diplomatique said to me, reason clearer than ever in my mind: “You are wrong to be right on your own against the whole world! The press works like that: everybody says the same thing; if it is a mistake, it does not matter because nobody will come to say anything about it, as everybody says the same thing. If on the other hand you are right on your own, then you will be demolished by everybody and when the events do prove you right, there will be nobody there to come and tap you on the back and remind that you were right.”
Exactly like those in Syria or in Egypt, the destiny of Libya is more dramatically than ever a witness of the truthfulness of this monologue.
About the Arab world, as well as for all other areas, the informative press definitely has to learn some lessons from this “spring”.
But is it capable of such a thing? Is there anything to be gained?
The current affairs of the Arab World, this month, it is also the continuously spectacular as well as frightening progression of the Islamic State; and not only in Syria and in Iraq…
It is also the debate, which creates arguments amongst the analysts after the cries of victory of the Hamas and what bottom line to draw under this last war in Gaza.