Ulysses and the Sirens, Herbert James Draper (1863 –1920)
As "Operation Mermaid Dawn", the rebel forces' offensive on Tripoli, plays out, this former synchronized swimmer has been watching with bated breath, and the occasional reminder to self to breathe...and not to throw fins, flippers, or shoes at the television.
I have been rejoicing with the rebel triumphs, agonizing through setbacks, and glaring at much of what passes for informed or expert commentary on Western media (BBC, CNN, CBC primarily), even from Arabs or Muslims (in the search for an expert, sometimes any Arab or any Muslim will do). Al Jazeera English coverage has been better, but relying heavily on Western or Westernized pundits and interviewers as well.
The Prize for ????!!!! Commentary (also known as WT* statements) in the Individual Category goes to a African Muslim woman on the BBC who seriously predicted that Libya was going to become a failed state like Somalia. Not even "at risk" of becoming "another Somalia" but more of a fait accompli.
The Prize for ????!!!! Commentary in the Group Category goes to CNN, all of whose presenters and guests are determined to compare Libya to Iraq, or rather the fiasco that Iraq became after putting Saddam Hussein to flight and before his capture, without mentioning the Made in USA brand in what they describe as a "civil war" marked by sectarianism and tribal warfare, with a "see what they did to our regime change" shock and awe tone.
The Special Prize for ????!!!! Commentary in the Beyond Irony Category goes to all those who insist on blathering about Libya as a tribal society, and Gaddafi as having tribal support. This is a special prize because of its persistence and pervasiveness, its imperviousness to historical fact or contemporary realities, and the failure of the proponents to realize the supreme irony that only they and Gaddafi's propaganda team propagate this convenient myth.
The Special Prize for ????!!!! Commentary in the Al-Qaeda Obsession Category also goes to CNN for its furtively mentioning the strength of Islamist groups but not Al-Qaeda in Libya's National Transition Council, and Libya generally, and the necessity of including them in the transition and reconstruction process, at least the ones that are strong in Libya but not Al-Qaeda. It is as if the whole of the political spectrum in the US is caught up tacitly excusing the alliance with Gaddafi that marked the years of the George W Bush administration, and bolstering the justification that Islamist groups were a threat in Libya, and that Gaddafi's help was needed in the War of Terror. According to "my Libyans" and the research I did inspired by them, Gaddafi had long since repressed, silenced, killed, and squashed any hint of Islamism, in favour of his own brand of Islamo-Socialism as manifested in the Green Book, the White Paper, and the pseudo-Maoist sounding Revolutionary Committees that were his governmental agencies. This repression was to the point of controlling the length of men's beards--too long and you could lose your head. Saif Gaddafi's new found bald plus long beard look is highly ironic in this light, or extremely desperate for supporters from previously rejected elements of society.
The Most Honorable Prize for ????!!!! Commentary in the Close But No Cigar Category goes to all those who go on about a lack of infrastructure and governance in Libya without noting that there is an infrastructure and a governance system that is in place and has been for decades. Elements of it will remain in the transition, while the worst of it will be jettisoned. Also recipients of this award are those who say there is no infrastructure and then proceed to describe it, eg "There is no infrastructure, the hospitals are decrepit, and the schools deplorable", without noticing they have just described an infrustructure while judging its quality.
The Most Honorable Prize for ????!!!! Commentary in the Supremely Obtuse Category goes to all those whose primary concern for the new Libya is the fate of the presumed perpetrator of Lockerbie Bombing, favouring imprisonment for a start, while failing to acknowledge the far higher losses of life among the Libyan people and fighters. The recipients in this category include GOP candidates for the Presidential election, with one otherwise forgettable standout. Of course, Irsad Manji is simultaneously in this category and in a category of her own, as is deftly described in the post,Self-Hating Muslim Irshad Manji’s WTF Tweet of the Day.
Your comments, thoughts, impressions?
Any prizes you would like to award?
Outstanding Resource: LIBYA 17TH FEBRUARY 2011--LIBYANS FOREVER IN UNITY. FROM BENGHAZI TO FEZZAN
Whence Gaddafi is Getting His Mercenaries: His Influence in Subsaharan Africa
Saif Al-Islam Alqadhafi's PhD Thesis from the London School of Economics (LSE); Libyan Funding of LSE; Response of the University; LSE Student Sit-In
February 26th 2011: Day of Demonstrations Across Canada to Support Libya/Libyans
France's Recognition of Libya's Opposition's National Libyan Council--Bravo!
From Libya Feb 17: Call to Libyans in the U.S. & Canada to support the Libyan National Transitional Council
NATO to Head Enforcement of No-Fly Zone Over Libya; Canadian to Head the NATO Mission in Libya
*Pictures of Libya here, and more, at Libya on the brink of change