So Gaddafi’s dead, and with his death ends the reign of three North African dictators. I won’t talk of the way he’s been killed or on whether he’ll be buried or not. Useless details if you ask me. What is important is the way the situation will evolve in Libya. I of course wish the best for the Libyan people but I must say I am not convinced at all the Libyans will be free in an independent state given the conditions of Gaddafi’s regime fall. I obviously mean the NATO and its Arab lackeys’ military intervention and the influence they have in the ill-conceived NTC’s Libya. Many share this opinion but many make the mistake of calling Gaddafi a martyr and his military resistance. I neither mourn nor celebrate Gaddafi’s death. The fact I do not like the NATO military intervention doesn’t make me forget who the Guide was. A similar feeling was created among the public (and I mean the Algerian public) after Saddam’s execution.
The topic of this post is not only about Libya. It’s on one of the reasons why I do not like the NTC and their likes, the perception of treason. The so-called Arab Spring, which started in winter and has yet to reach an end after three seasons, did raise this point. Who are the people leading the movements/uprisings/revolutions? Where did they train? What are their relations with foreign governmental and non-governmental organisations? Are they patriots or traitors?
Wikipedia provides several definitions for treason. One of them is Oran’s Dictionary of the Law’s and which says “…[a]…citizen’s actions to help a foreign government overthrow, make war against, or seriously injure the [parent nation].”
Call me brain-washed if you wish but I have to say that I agree with the above, thus making me allergic to any action launched abroad, from abroad, or with foreign support and aiming at changing the political system in my country. And I am not just talking of war. I guess this matches the principle of non-interference in domestic affairs that is very dear to the Algerian state.
I said it already in one of my comments. I never discuss Algerian affairs with foreign people, be them the closest to us. I like proverbs such as “zitna fi dqiqna” so any outsider who tries to interfere would be replied to by another proverb, “alhadra bin zoudj, wesh dakhal la3djouz” (I am not that drastic actually since, you noticed, I mainly talk about Algeria on this blog and many of its readers are foreigners). So when I hear of meetings between Algerian politicians or journalists and foreign diplomats (and Wikileaks gave us examples on their discussion topics) I cannot but disapprove. I also disliked the meetings organised by Sant’Egidio in 1995. And let’s not get started with the MAK… I even feel uneasyness when I hear political opponents talking with no limits on Al Jazeera, France24 or Russia Today.
So this is basically my opinion and I will just hold to it, but the topic’s title says “questions on treason” and I do have questions.
Non-interference in domestic affairs
Algeria does support this principle and expects everyone to do the same. Algeria’s reactions to many foreign conflicts, such as Kosovo/Serbia, Chechnya/Russia, and more recently Ezzine/Tunisia and Gaddafi/Libya are partly dictated by this principle. Algeria’s or rather the Algerian regime’s interests being another input as it had been the case many years ago when the “qui tu qui?” question was raised in France and Algeria called wonderful BHL to visit the country and swear that the GIA were the only killers. BHL having not changed, it’s ironic to see those same people who did call him in the 90s attack the NTC because of its ties with the Zionist revolutionary philosopher…
The Algerian people seem to act like their government. They do adhere to the non-interference principle, but it feels their adherence is not 100% genuine or rather varying with the interfering power and the topic. Algerians wouldn’t like to see foreigners involved in Algerian matters but they had no problem with going to fight in Afghanistan, Iraq, Bosnia or Chechnya. You’d argue that at least in two cases it’s an obvious occupation issue, meaning not a domestic affair, but do not forget that France had always said the Algerian issue was a domestic one and the UN had nothing to do with it, and the security council did follow France’s point (it tells you loads on the usefulness of this organisation). So all those countries who helped the FLN, and not only for altruistic reasons, did actually interfere in France’s internal affairs.
It happens that Algeria (I take Algeria as an example but this applies to other countries) signed many treaties with many United Nations and international organisations. This makes the Algerian state accountable before these institutions for any breach of these agreements. Then why would an Algerian citizen not sue the Algerian state or any Algerian official before these organisations if he/she feels his/her rights, guaranteed by these treaties, had been suppressed by the Algerian state?!
The state either signs the agreements and has to assume the consequences or not.
This point is I guess the most significant. Back to Libya, when the Libyans started their uprising Gaddafi’s only reaction was to call them rats and drug-addicts and chase them zenga zenga and kill them. Sure the 7 months conflict has led to many civilian casualties (30k to 65k dead depending on sources) but can we tell what would have happened had the NATO not intervened. What is happening today in Syria? Has Bashar not killed already almost as many as the Israeli attacks on Gaza? Is it ok for the world to watch a people massacred by its leader?
I know nothing good comes from a foreign intervention. Realpolitik leaves no space for genuine humanitarian action and Western involvement does mean resources theft at best and neo-colonialism at worst. But let’s be honest. Is not the West already controlling those poor Third-World countries’ resources? Gaddafi may had been an anti-imperialist revolutionary in the past but that man has died many years ago. He became Europe’s policeman against illegal immigration and helped in the West’s war on terror. And Western oil companies were already working in Libya. So there is not a big change after all, except for the people who will be better… if they’re lucky that is.
Who are the traitors after all?
I will finish this post with this question. Ok working with a foreign country in order to topple one’s regime is treason. Despite all the deaths the black decade has caused, and as hard as it sounds, I prefer it that way than having France, the NATO or Qatar intervene and save some of my countrymen. Perhaps something related to ennif wlekhsara.
But are the NTC and the likes the only traitors? Was Gaddafi not a traitor? He killed his people, deprived them of their freedom, dignity and money, etc. Same question about our rulers. Nezzar, recently interrogated by Swiss police for torture accusations, had declared he’d have killed 2 million Algerians if need was to save the regime. Is this not treason? (it is by the way not similar to what I said above regarding the black decade). What about all those rulers who ruined the country, its industry, its educational system, etc?
I will not ask about us, the people, who seem to accept this situation because it would be going too far…