Posted by: Martin Scherer | 04/03/2011

Libya – Europeans caught with their pants down


When the goal posts shift its amusing to see how many get caught with their pants down.

  • The British Poet Laureate has been explaining his connections to the Gaddafi regime. A poet? What has a poet to do with Libya?
  • The Chancellor of the London School of Economics has just resigned over its links with the Gaddafi regime.
  • Former British Premier Blair has been outed for making personal phone calls to Colonel Gaddafi.

Its all about the seductive power of black gold.

Before this ‘Arab Spring’, the West chose to support autocratic Arab leaders because autocracy appeared to provide stability in a volatile region on which the West is dependent for oil. Hence the reason the US never pointed a finger at Saudi-Arabia over 9/11, despite the mounting evidence that country had more blood on its hands than most others. Osama Bin Laden was close to Saudi royalty. 

Libya has a wealth of untapped oil, but Libya could not exploit or sell it as long as Libya was seen as a rogue terrorist state. As Gaddafi paid off the Lockerbie victims, the sanctions were lifted. Italy was the first to move in and is now dependent on Libyan  oil and gas. No surprise then that Gaddafi’s son, an engineering graduate of no repute, set up camp in Venice. However Venice’s night life is’t a match on London’s and the Gaddafi’s second language is English not Italian.

Gaddafi’s son, took over management of the ‘family’ investments and moved operations to London. In order to gain respectability he recruited as many ‘good names’ as he could.  The Poet Laureate and The London School of Economics, were’t the only to be seduced. The Blair government, a socialist government, was heavily involved in the ‘normalisation’ of the Gaddafi regime. Gaddafi’s son was seen as a moderniser, who took personal risks in contradicting his erratic father, and needed to be supported. Today Gaddafi’s son is seen as closer to the coke snorting psychopathic son of Saddam Hessian. Not a nice welcome association for the Brits. The poet and the London School of Economics are not the only to be seduced. A French Minister has resigned. Blair is outed for making personal calls to the Gaddafi regime. Questions hang over Italy’s premier.  As the chickens come home to roost, more will be caught with egg on their faces

The association is deeper and the behaviour of Arab autocrats is not so unusual to European leaders. Go back through the history books. Remember the princes murdered in the tower, and the behaviour of monarchs, as portrayed in Shakespeare. European monarchs huddled together for self-protection, often intermarrying. Queen Victoria married a German monarch, Prince Albert. Consequently during the last world wars some British monarchs were sympathetic to the German aggressors. The UK’s present Queen is married to a former Greek monarch. Minor British monarchs, like Prince Andrew were often wheeled out to meet and greet Arab monarchs. The UK must have seemed a safe haven for Arab ‘Monarchs’.  

What drives the ‘Arab spring’. Is it Facebook? Facebook is merely a technology that enables communication and Facebook has been shut down by the Gaddafi regime.  Is it the sight of princes lording it up in fast cars?  Two centuries ago, the French populace had had wonders of new technology – the printing press for political leaflets, and watched their aristocracy ride in golden chariots.  

What drove the French populace to rise up? Hunger. Let them eat cake. The hunger was not caused by the autocrats, but by climatic change which lead to crop failures. Rising food prices today are caused by climatic change and excessive demand driving the Arab poor to rise up.  As the French once cried, the Arabs now cry, ‘Off with their heads’. Those with egg on their face are loosing theirs.

There lies a poetic justice.


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