By Jamal Elshayyal
2011 has already proven lie to the idea that the Arab world ever needed foreign help in order to achieve democracy; and now it could prove false the notion that the American administration and other Western governments ever cared about human rights or self determination. Unfortunately, this will be done through the massacring of hundreds if not thousands of innocent Libyans.
It has already become apparent that fear and apathy no longer cripple the Arab world, the volcano that is the Middle East of today is no longer dormant, and as it begins to erupt, those who foolishly continue to try and suppress it eventually burn or melt away.
For decades, the Arab world has settled for corrupt, ignorant, treacherous despots as their leaders. For a generation, and in some cases two, Arabs lived in constant fear of expressing dissent, a fear so crippling it deemed them useless, incompetent and ultimately irrelevant . But the region has now been revived by its youth who have shown in Tunisia, Egypt and now Libya that they know no fear, that they would rather die standing than live on their knees.
But still, like with Egypt, the West fails to see the inevitability of freedom, America and Britain fail to understand that they can not continue to do business with dictators and still say they are "friends of the people".
The European Union buys 79 per cent of Libya's oil. American companies and expats have practically taken over parts of Libya in recent years as the "free world" began to flirt with Gaddafi in the most scandalous of relationships. How can Europe put pressure on the Libyan government (freezing personal assets of Gaddafi for example) to immediately stop the butchering of innocent civilians when 10 per cent of Europe's oil originates in Libya?
America and most of Western Europe have already taught us how the equation works: Oil - Arab blood = Positive, Arab Blood - Oil = Negative.
In the past few days I have spoken to people in Benghazi, in Beyda, in Tripoli and I've heard accounts of 60 innocent young men being gunned down in a police station. People I've spoken to on the phone have since gone missing, picked up by Libyan intelligence, their fate - only God knows.
Gaddafi's son, Saif, has threatened to kill hundreds of thousands of Libyans - on TV. What was the reaction from "the free world"?
Despite the horrific barbarism used by Gaddafi to try and suppress his people, Libyans remain steadfast, determined to realise their dream of living in a democratic and free country. But they do this in spite of "the free world", they do this despite the best efforts of Washington, London and Rome, all of whom have and continue to prop up Gaddafi.
It amazes me why these governments fail to realise that we no longer live in a world where oppression is okay. I am baffled as to how those working in the State Department have yet to comprehend that the Middle East is no longer their playground, the Arab people will no longer be subjected to the dictatorial rule of puppet despots propped up by greedy, racist and corrupt regimes.
2011 is proving to be a turning point, a new beginning for the free people of this region, from what I hear, see and know about the Arab people, they want nothing more than to embark on this new beginning with their fellow free humans in the West; its a shame that Western governments seem to be as opposed to freedom and democracy as the despots who have ruled the Arab world for decades.
Jamal Elshayyal is a news producer with a focus on Arab politics and Western/Arab relations.
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|William A. Cook|