The CSM reviews the jockeying for position in Libya at the Friends conference in Paris, and especially the prospects of the US.
But a spokesman for the Transitional National Council emphasized that oil bids would be let on the basis of the company’s expertise and experience, not on the political grounds of whether its nation supported the TNC.
The conference released $15 bn. in Libyan assets to the new government. If the money can be disbursed quickly and put to use efficiently, it could help overcome the country’s current shortages of staples and services, in the wake of the revolution.
Larbi Sadiki writes:
“Libyans did not begin the Arab revolution. However, they are about to close one link in the Arab revolutionary chain: three neighbouring countries with a total population of 100m Arabic-speaking people, covering a surface area of more than 3m square kilometres, are free. That is how it must have felt when the colonists left Algeria to join Morocco or Tunisia, or when the free officers came, one by one, to ditch monarchical rule in several Arab states.
The three countries should experiment with open borders and the free movement of people, goods, and ideas to show that the dawn of Arab democracies will not have any semblance to the era of Gaddafi, Mubarak and Ben Ali. [Secretary-General of the Arab League] Mr [Nabil] Al-Arabi has a golden opportunity to make this a reality. Just as Arab youth are steadfast in the struggle for freedom and democracy, their elder statesmen should meet them halfway in helping reconstruct a better Arab world.”
Historian Benjamin Stora argues that Algeria’s hostility to the Libyan revolution and to the help it received from Europe betrays a mindset stuck in the jejune Third Worldism of the 1960s. The world has changed, with the fall of the Berlin Wall, the end of the Cold War, and the election of Barack Obama, Stora argues, but the Algerian leadership hasn’t caught up. (Actually, I think the assumption that the world is bipolar, so that one should oppose anything capitalist Western Europe does, is still widespread in left-leaning countries of the global south. But the irony is that almost all of them have taken the capitalist road themselves, and Western Europe has no obvious opposite pole that one could support, so all that’s left is a dreary knee-jerk anti-Westernism. To deploy the latter to insist that it must be allowed for a Libyan dictator to kill thousands of Libyan citizens is bizarre.
The African Union said it was reassured by the remarks in Paris of TNC leader Moustapha Abdul Jalil, in which he pledged to order the protection of foreign workers in Libya, and that it might go forward with recognizing the new government.
The Wall Street Journal got hold of, and analyzed, intelligence and military documents from the Qaddafi regime left behind when its high officials fled the capital. They show an Establishment that was clueless about the depth and breadth of the rebellion against them; corrupt and venal, giving rufies to women who were then raped; amazed to find themselves outnumbered and outgunned in the Western Mountain region; burdened with the Air Force flyers they were sent who had no notion of how to fight as infantry. They tried but failed to monitor the rebels’ telephone conversations, and to deploy their thousands of domestic spies, but they just seemed unable to understand the scale of the uprising they faced. Bewildered, they blamed it on Shiite Muslims (there are no Shiite Muslims to speak of in North Africa). The charge shows that they just had no idea who their opponents could possibly have been.
China has also begun jockeying for a position in post-Qaddafi Libya, provoking some cynicism and mirth among its dissidents on the internet.
‘Summary: Sing Tao: China Netizens Mock Former ‘Boot-Licking’ PRC Ambassador to Libya…
Sing Tao Jih Pao Online
Friday, September 2, 2011
Document Type: OSC Summary …
According to an article on 1 September by Chih Hsiao-hua carried in independent Hong Kong daily Sing Tao Jih Pao, in a microblog, mainland netizens released an article by former PRC Ambassador to Libya Wang Houli written several years ago, singing the praise of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi. While serving as ambassador, Wang had six exclusive meetings with Gaddafi and the two became “good friends.” Wang defended Gaddafi’s “lifestyle,” saying that he was a dedicated Muslim who loved the Arab nation and maintained equality between the rich and the poor. Some Internet users ridiculed the ambassador by saying: “With such an ambassador, how can China not be thrown into a predicament on the Libyan issue? Chinese officials are so smart that they have exported boot licking overseas.”
(Description of Source: Hong Kong Sing Tao Jih Pao Online in Chinese — Website of “Sing Tao Daily News,” non-PRC-owned daily newspaper targeted at an educated audience; sister paper of free English-language daily The Standard; typically maintains a pro-Hong Kong Government editorial line; URL: http://www.singtao.com)’