Tripoli, or La Plus Ca Change

I have nothing sage to say about the godamighty state of Libya as it is at the moment, with Mussulman Caligula at the helm swearing to go down in flames (though I do note that when the insane king addresses his people from the balcony, it is usually the last act; I think of  Lola Montes. At least Montes, when the crowds began to riot, had the panache to toast them with champagne. I figure if Qaddafi’s  bodyguards show up at the window, it’s curtains.)

But Lordy, haven’t we been screwing with this piece of the world for centuries?

If Qaddafi is deposed and we arrive at some sort of agreement with a successor government, I want an anti-Groundhog-Day clause.

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9 thoughts on “Tripoli, or La Plus Ca Change

  1. I have nothing sage to say either, but I do like your “all the world’s a stage” thinking.

    I can’t resist telling you that Groundhog Day was filmed in Woodstock, Illinois. I worked in that town for two years. Representing domestic violence victims, mostly. It was Groundhog Day, every friggin day.

  2. A more democratic tendency amongst Arab nations will (in the short term at least) be uncomfortable for a certain staunch ally of ours in that part of the world, but in Libya’s case I can’t see it as anything but an improvement. But there are a lot of tribal loyalties to exercise meanwhile. Libya doesn’t have a long history of unity and Saif’s warning against civil war was not just rhetoric. Europe and the United States must find ways to influence all these nations towards rule of law despite the costs to us that general suffrage will bring, or they will cry out for strongmen yet again and nothing will have really changed. I do find it encouraging that Al Qaida does not seem particularly popular.

    I’m a longtime fan of Lola Montez as one of the more colorful of many colorful characters to grace the Gold Country, not to mention her role in the second Flashman novel.

  3. Complicate stuff Sled. It is my world a tiny bit Libya being an ex colony of Italy. But, as I said it’s our custom in the Old World, I keep postponing a post I should write. Berlusconi and the Mussulman Caligula (he is not Mussulman at all in truth) are close friends, so disgusting. Procrastination, procrastination …

  4. Lybia is a colonial construct as are most of these countries. Unnatural alliances were shoved down the throaths of the peoples and only strong men, like in Yugoslavia, could hold them together. There will be much turmOIL before things calm down and then we will have to redraw the maps and learn many new countries names and flags.
    And maybe, just maybe, if and when they hold free and fair elections, like the Gaza people, they will not vote the way Big Daddy would have wished.
    Even Israel will have to reconsider it’s behaviour to survive.

  5. I always get fairly depressed when I contemplate how many messes occur because of considerations of commerce — oil being the obvious here. It was a little easier to make sense of the relations when the issue was piracy plain and simple.

    I think it’s going to be very sobering when a few more of the “developing” nations do what Dubya said he wanted and start functioning as even half-ass democracies. I hope our politicians and business people in the US will be up to the adjustments.

  6. Oh yes, it will be difficult. Especially, as I said, for Israel. But given time and the freedom to learn and grow the less constructive beliefs will wither away. Takes about a generation. I’d say the best possible outcome of these revolutions would be a general preference for trade over warfare in forty or fifty years’ time. Well worth having the patience for, my opinion; but my opinion rarely aligns with the powerful.

  7. Whenever I see those images of ordinary people facing down the rulers’ guns and tanks, I think, from my vantage-point of cotton-wool safety, how incredibly brave they are.

    • It gets tougher than that. I was discussing with a politically minded friend the iconic picture of the young man facing a tank in Tiananmen Square, and the probable fate of both men in the photo. “I don’t know what might have happened to the student, if he was ever identified,” my friend said. “But the man driving the tank who refused to run him over was probably shot.”

      He’s probably right.

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