June 16

Libyans comparing Gadaffi with the King he overthrew

In many ways, Libya’s is an odd revolution, writes Michael Cousins in Arab News, 6 June 2011. He says it is as much about bringing back an old Libya as making a new one. “The insurgents have reclaimed the old red, black and green flag with its star and crescent that served the kingdom from independence in 1951 to Muammar Qaddafi's coup in 1969.

       [ Moammar Gadaffi ]

“They have reclaimed its anthem with its words about sacrifice, liberation and never going back to live in chains — words written in fact to commemorate the fight against the Italians but resonating so perfectly with the present struggle against Qaddafi.”

Muammar Gaddafi extended his terror beyond Libya, by committing acts of terrorism in the air over Lockerbie, in London and by financing other terrorist groups, including the Irish Republican Army.  The IRA  was responsible for at least one terrorist attack on Australians, and Gerry Adams actually came to Australia to campaign for the Yes case in the 1999 referendum.


…calls for restoration..

Mr. Cousins reports that in conversation after conversation with Libyans in Benghazi, all invariably spoke of the fall of Qaddafi and his regime and their hope it would happen soon.

“But the next most common subject was the monarchy and the hope that it would be restored. It is amazing how many Libyan raise the issue, young and old alike.He says there is an obvious affection for the old king.

 “Articles about him appear in the new press. With no stain of political or financial corruption attached to him, he is now seen as a man of integrity and honor — the complete antithesis of Qaddafi. Twice he tried to abdicate to devote himself to study and prayer.

“Moreover, despite Qaddafi’s efforts to eradicate every last memory of the Senussi order — to the point of smashing the graves of Senussi members at Al-Jaghbub and scattering their bones in the desert — it is still greatly revered. Support for the house of Senussi is powerfully strong in eastern Libya, probably stronger than at any time since the early 1960s.”

“A restoration movement has been started in Benghazi."

(Continued  below) “We’ve brought back the flag, the anthem,’ said one of the volunteers at the TNC’s press registration offices,’why not the monarchy?’

“The aim is not to have a politically active monarchy as elsewhere in the Arab world, but a strictly limited constitutional one, with the king as a living symbol of Libyan unity, but who would not be allowed to take part in political affairs.“That is also what the would-be king, Crown Prince Mohammed Al-Rida Al-Senussi, proposes. However, he also says that it is up to the Libyan people.”{mosimage}


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