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Hichem Karoui: Leader of mercenaries and slaves
February 26, 2011
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For over forty years, Qadhafi claimed he was the unique leader of the Libyan people. He was not. Since February 17th, he has the most serious rival any dictator would ever have: the people. It is the people, not any member of the elite, that took to the streets to oust him from power. Like similar revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt, politicians would have to rush and join the ranks of the uprising, where the future is happening.

Prior to the February 17th popular revolution, Libya’s often contradictory political dynamics were described as a product of competing interest groups seeking to influence policy within the confines of the country’s authoritarian political system as the country seemed emerging from international isolation.

Tribal relationships remained important, particularly with regard to the distribution of leadership roles in government ministries and in political-military relations. Tribal loyalties remained strong within and between branches of the armed services, and members of Qadhafi’s tribe, the Qadhadfa, have held many high ranking government positions, reportedly including key positions in the air force. Members of larger, rival tribes, such as the Warfalla, have opposed the regime on grounds of tribal discrimination. Some Libyan military and security officials staged limited, unsuccessful coup attempts against Qadhafi in 1993 and 1996 based in part on tribal and familial rivalries. Qadhafi government has performed periodic reassignments and purges of the officer corps to limit the likelihood of organised opposition re-emerging from within the military.

Political parties and all opposition groups were banned in Libya under Law number 71 of 1972. The government has dealt harshly with opposition leaders and groups over the last four decades, establishing special “people’s courts” and “revolutionary committees” to enforce ideological and political discipline and to punish violators and dissidents. Abroad, Libyan intelligence personnel have monitored, harassed, and, in some cases, assassinated expatriate dissidents, some of whom were referred to as “stray dogs.”

Libya’s myriad opposition movements can be categorised broadly as hardliners, royalist, or democratic in orientation. But like similar organisations in similar countries, their activities and effectiveness have been largely limited by disorganisation, rivalry, and ideological differences.

Here is a list of these opposition groups:

1) The Libyan National Group (At-tajamoa Al-watani Al-leebi); Established: September 1976; Newspaper: Saut Ashaab Alleebi.

2) The Libyan Democratic National Movement (Al-haraka Al-wataniya Ad-dimokratia Al-leebiya); Established: April 1979; Magazine: Sawt Libya.

3) The Libyan Democratic National Group (At-tajamoa Al-watani Ad-dimokrati Al-leebi); Established: September 1981;

4) The Libyan National Movement (Al-haraka Al-wataniya Al-leebiya); Established: December 1980; Magazine: Sawt Attaleea.

5) The Islamic Group “Libya” (Aj-jamaa Al-islamiya “Libya”); Established: 1979; Magazine: Al-Moslim. Newspaper (Ind.): Al-Raed.

6) The Islamic Movement “Libya” (Al-haraka Al-islamiya “Libya”); Established: May 1980; Magazine: Ash-shorouk.

7) The Democratic National Libyan Front (Aj-jabha Al-leebiya Al-wataniya Ad-dimokratiya); Established: August 1980; Magazine: Al-watan.

8) The National Front for The Salvation of Libya (Aj-jabha Al-wataniya Li-inqad Libya); Established: October 1981; Magazine: Al-inqad.

9) The Libyan National Salvation Army (Jaish Al-inqad Al-watani Al-leebi); Established: January 1981.

10) The Libyan National Struggle Movement (Harakat Al-kifah Al-watani Al-leebi); Established: July 1985; Newsletter: Al-kifah.

11) The Libyan National Salvation Army Organisation (Monathamat Jaish Al-inqad Al-watani Al-leebi); Established: August 1988.

12) The Libyan Movement for Change and (Al-haraka Al-leebiya Lil-taghyieer Wal-islah); Established March 1994; Magazine: Shooun Lib-biya.

13) The Organisation for Free Libya (Monathamat Tahreer Libya).

14) The Libyan National Group (Attantheem Alwatani Alleebi).

15) The Libyan Authority for National Salvation (Al-haiaa Al-libiya Lil-kalas Al-watani); Established July 1986.

16) The Libyan Volcano Group (Monathamat Al-burkan Al-leebi); Established January 1984.

17) The Libyan Constitutional Union (Al-ittihad Ad-dostouri Al-leebi); Established October 1981.

18) The Freedom Party (Hizb At-tahreer); Re-established July 1980.

19) The National Libyans Front (Jabhat Al-wataniyeen Al-libi-yeen); Established: August 1980; Magazine: Libya Al-ankaa.

20) The Libyan People’s Struggle Movement (Harakat Al-nidal Ash-shaabi Al-leebi).

21) The Libyan Democratic Party (Al-hizb Ad-dimokrati Al-leebi).

22) The Nation’s Party (Hizb Al-Umma).

23) The Libyan National Union (Attahalof Al-watani Al-leebi); Established: February 1983.

24) The Libyan Democratic Conference (Al-motamar Ad-dimokrati Al-leebi); Established: August 1992; Magazine: Al-motamar.

25) The Libyan Democratic Authority (Hai-at At-tanseeq Ad-dimokratiya Al-leebiya); Established: May 1993.

26) The Fighting Islamic Group (Aj-jamaa Al-islamiya Al-mokatila); Established: 1991 (when they wrote their Manhaj); Magazine: Al-fajr.

 27) The Libyan Conservatives Party (Hizb Al-mohafi-deen All-leebi); Established: May 1996.

 As we see, Qadhafi failed to make of Libya the political desert he wished. In July 2005, Libyan opposition groups in exile including the National Alliance, the Libyan National Movement (LNM), the Libyan Movement for Change and Reform, the Islamist Rally, the National Libyan Salvation Front (NLSF), the Republican Rally for Democracy and Justice, the royalists of Mohammed Al Sanusi (grandson of the former king), and others as well gathered in London and issued a “national accord,” calling for the removal of Qadhafi from power and the establishment of a transitional government. A follow-up meeting was held in March 2008. But ostensibly, nothing substantial emerged out of these meetings. Certainly not a strategy to topple the regime that may be described correctly as successful in February 2011.

Qadhafi pretended that the protesters were “drug addict” manipulated by foreign intelligence. He called his people “rats” showing the extent of arrogance and contempt he was capable of. But four decades of dictatorship are enough to turn even a drug addict against his pusher. And in this case, there is no other “pusher” than Qadhafi himself and the state of fear he inflicted on the Libyans forty years long.

Today, the Libyan political elite disseminated all around the globe have to ready themselves to take over and lead their country to democracy and welfare. No people in the world deserve to bear a despot for so many years and when fed up with his womanish whims they shout “enough,” he sends the aviation to raid them and buys mercenaries with embezzled money to chase and shoot them down.

Qadhafi who admired Hannibal to the degree of giving his name to his own son has obviously not understood what lost Carthage: mercenaries never won a war against patriots. They will never do. Look at Libya: since its people sought freedom at the price of their lives, the only followers Qadhafi could afford are either mercenaries or slaves. Mercenaries fight for the devil if he pays them. Slaves may be Libyan-born, but assuredly not sovereign citizens. Both could not make a nation.

Foreign legions were used by Hannibal to fight Rome not Carthage.

Has Hannibal turned his weapons against the Carthaginians even when they refused to send him the reinforcement he needed? Never.

But Qadhafi is not Hannibal.

What a sad end!

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