Another exercise in compare-and-contrast: Egypt and Libya.
When the Egyptian public rose up and kicked Mubarak out, the EU and the US were remarkably quiet and diplomatic. But Libya is another story. Ghadafi -- or Qaddafi or whatever his name is -- is getting the full Milosevic treatment: sanctimonious condemnations from every other bloody-handed government criminal in the world, including Hillary The Ripper(*) and the gangsterish skinhead Brit foreign secretary William Hague; threats of being haled off to an international kangaroo court in Geneva or the Netherlands or some other Ruritanian theme park in the more orderly and well-swept arrondissements of the global empire; and of course calls for humanitarian intervention by those Pecksniffian creeps at Human Rights Watch.
My heroine Yoshie Furuhashi had a nice piece on a related topic at MRzine recently:
As the fate of Libya was being discussed by the powers represented in the NATO and the UN Security Council yesterday, among those most fervently calling for no-fly zones were Libya's own UN ambassadors turned defectors, Abdurrahman Mohammed Shalgham and Ibrahim Dabbashi, making the same demand as the National Conference of Libyan Opposition (NCLO), an umbrella group of major Libyan exile organizations including the Libyan Constitutional Union (led by the so-called "Crown Prince" of Libya) and the National Front for the Salvation of Libya (NFSL, a tool of the CIA and Saudi Arabia during the Cold War).It's an interesting development. Qaddafi and the Empire buried the hatchet some years ago, and Q. seemed to be quite willing to carry out the neoliberal program in Libya. But perhaps the managers of empire never really thought he was quite reliable. Or perhaps they simply have their eyes on the oil: big, big country, very thinly populated, and oodles and oodles of lovely oil. Do they dream, perhaps, of a Maghrebian Saudi Arabia, ruled by a stooge more reliable than Qaddafi?
Thus it fell to a few good Latin American socialists to do what they could to argue the case of Libya and defend its right to self-determination -- that is, the right of the Libyan people, those who are for, against, or indifferent to the soon-to-be former Libyan regime, to sort out their own affairs, free from NATO or any other foreign troops ... And they tried, knowing that their efforts would be met with not only attacks from the Right but also total incomprehension on the part of not a few leftists.
I hear Hosni Mubarak is in the job market.
(*) What fun it is to see Hillary so tenderly concerned about the Arab masses -- anywhere but Gaza and the West Bank.