'ME fights battle of true independence'
Thu Feb 24, 2011 10:54AM
Interview with Osman Bakach of the Liberation Party in Beirut
Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi's unprecedented brutal crackdown on pro-democracy protesters has resulted in worldwide condemnation, with the death toll still on the rise.
Osman Bakach of the Liberation Party in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, commented on what has happened in Libya during the past few days in an interview with Press TV. You may find the rush transcript below.
Press TV: You heard Gaddafi's comments yesterday as well. Is this basically the regime's last maneuver to try and cling on to power?
Bakach : Yes indeed. This unprecedented massacre in Libya indicates the bankruptcy and imminent collapse of this regime, which has ruled the land with a brutal grip of terror for the past forty-two years. What is interesting here to note is the fact that Western nations in Europe and America may be preparing to create some facts on the ground to justify their intervention. We know there is a big difference between the scenario unfolding in Libya versus what happened in Egypt and in Tunisia. The fact remains that these changes are interlinked. This whole process was triggered by what happened in Tunisia early on as we know. Then it spread to Egypt. Now it is in Libya, Yemen, Bahrain and the rest of the region.
What is happening now at this crucial, historical moment is that we, the Ommah, the Middle East, are fighting our battle of true freedom and independence. Let us not forget that the regimes set up in Libya, Tunisia, Yemen, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia etc. are all legacy of the colonial order imposed by Europeans before and later on supported by Americans. Now we as Muslims are fighting our battle for freedom and independence to go back to our Islamic way of life. This is why we see the Western nations terrified, having sleepless nights to find measures to circumvent the true victory of the Muslim nations across the Middle East.
Press TV: There has been international condemnation of the blood-bath that is ensuing on the streets of Libya right now. However, Gaddafi is getting support from a major power like Italy. Do you think that gives him a further incentive to try and cling on to power no matter what the cost?
Bakach : Let us not forget what happened to ex-dictator Saddam Hussein in Iraq. Who supplied Saddam Hussein with all weapons of torture and destruction and death? Who gave him all those weapons that he used ruthlessly to kill Iraqis back in the 80's and 90's? When the interest of his sponsors including Donald Rumsfeld, who supplied him with machines of death and killing people, changed, they dumped him and put an end to him. In Libya, there is the same story. All these terror and killing machines that Gaddafi has at his disposal were supplied to him by the Western nations. There were some unconfirmed rumors that Italy has supplied direct military hardware to Gaddafi to crush the revolution against him.
Press TV: What we have seen throughout this uprising in Libya is the fact that Libya is comprised of tribes and clans. We know that there are certain tribes that still support Muammar Gaddafi and they have vested interest in him staying in power. How much of a role do you think they are playing in making sure that he retains power?
Bakach : It is not surprising. Like every dictator, for instance in Iraq and Egypt and Algeria, Gaddafi has managed through decades to build a core nucleus of supporters to stay with him to the last minute. However, what we say clearly is day by day the major pillars of the Libyan regime are tumbling including Minister of Interior, General Abdul Fatah Younis, who resigned. He is a long-time partner and teammate of Gaddafi's. So even though there may be some few supporters who would stay to the end, I am pretty sure they will switch side when they realize the Libyan regime is sinking. This is not far in coming.
Press TV: Gaddafi is urging his supporters to hunt out the anti-government demonstrators and protect the country. Are we going to see a blood bath ensue in Libya and this man continue to retain power and create discord between the people he rules upon?
Bakach : I do not see much hope for this dictator Gaddafi to survive. It is too late. The course of events has already reached a point of no return. Today his foreign minister went over to Egypt in a futile attempt to bribe some Egyptians who live on the borders to Libya, because as you know Gaddafi has already lost control over the eastern region. The Foreign Minister went to Egypt with a lot of money to try to buy some mercenaries or to bribe some tribes on the Egyptian side, and they all turned him down. So I know it is too late already. We have not seen the full reality of the events yet. Time is out. If Gaddafi has any decency in his head, he should realize and put an end to this senseless and meaningless blood bath which is now taking place there.
Press TV: With regards to Egypt, there was the word “power vacuum” being thrown out a lot saying there was no viable political entity that could come and fill up that power vacuum, since Mubarak had ruled for so long. Now considering Gaddafi has been in power for forty-two years, and squashed any major opposition to him during his rule, what would happen once he does step down?
Bakach : This is a very interesting question. It is the heart of the dilemma we are facing now. You are correct about what happened in Egypt, and for that matter, what happened in Tunisia. In both Egypt and Tunisia we saw a controlled transition of power. We saw that in Egypt, ex-dictator Mubarak had delegated authority to his deputy, Omar Suleiman, who was named to be vice president within days and then the whole thing moved on to the military junta. This transfer of power in Egypt has so far meant that the Egyptian regime, which was propped up by the Americans, remains intact.
I do not want to belittle the historical significance of the revolution that took place in Egypt. This is definitely a major new page. But the still the fact remains that the basics of the Egyptian regime, which was managed and run from America, is still in control and more or less the same happens in Tunisia. Ben Ali fled away, yet he handed over power to Ghannouchi who has been the prime minister since 1999. In Libya, this is not the case; throughout his forty-two-year rule, Gaddafi saw to it that there is no viable alternative. This may exactly explain how the West has turned a deaf ear to this ongoing massacre and blood bath in Libya. The West feels that, since they do not have a viable alternative to assume power, the “Ommah” will gain their true independence and freedom in Libya. This is exactly the central issue we are facing now.
Press TV: Yesterday the United Nations Security Council held a meeting on Libya. What makes Libya so different from Egypt and Tunisia as well as Bahrain, Yemen etc. for the UN Security Council to be playing such a role?
Bakach : The fear here is, since the Western colonial powers do not have a viable political alternative to have a controlled transition of power like what happened in Egypt and Tunisia, the UN Security Council steps in to possibly create justification for a later intervention in the pretext of safeguarding oil interest, stability and so on. We know after all that the UN Security Council is no more than a convenient tool for the West to use as a fig leave to cover their imperial agenda. When it suits them, they use it. When they do not need it, they bypass it.
Again, the fact is that in Libya there is no viable political alternative which the West trusts. Let us not forget the Italian Foreign Minister's word where he cautioned and warned that Italy will not accept the establishment of an Islamic state in Libya, which for that matter reminds us of the words of ex-prime minister of France back in 1991 when he said France would not accept an Islamic state in Algeria even if it means direct military intervention. This is very much like what we are witnessing today in Libya. The West is alarmed that they may lose control over the course of events, and this is why they are seeking ways to justify their future intervention. We know that the British have sent a warship to Libya under the [excuse] of evacuating the British citizens, but in reality this may be a pretext for what is coming.