Libyan Revolution Continues With Uprising Against Militias

Libyans who supported last year’s uprising against the tyrannical rule of Muammar Gadhafi have grown increasingly irate at the continued presence of non-state militias in their nearly liberated country. Mohammad Omar Beaiou fears for Libya’s “second revolution.”

al-monitor Demonstrators hold placards during a protest against the presence of militias and in support of the formation of a national army and police at Algeria Square in Tripoli September 28, 2012. Photo by REUTERS/Ismail Zetouni.

Topics covered

nato intervention in libya, nato, libyan militias, libyan civil war, j. christopher stevens

Oct 1, 2012

Libyan militias — whether armed or political — have forgotten that a large part of the Libyan people, who fought in the second war of liberation against “local colonizers” following a century-long war against “foreign colonizers,” has become very resilient.

They no longer fear or recognize centers of power. They no longer stand idly by while their dignity is violated, their sons killed, their wealth stolen, their guests and army officers killed and their independence encroached upon.

The Libyan people have suffered from countless criminal and terrorist acts, such as abductions and killings based on tribal or regional affiliation, as was the case in Lebanon and Iraq, where many people were killed “according to their identification card” [based on their ethnic or sectarian identity, which is listed on the ID card].

People’s possessions were confiscated, thousands of families were displaced and voices were silenced. Cemeteries were destroyed and antiquities, fuel and goods were smuggled.

Libya became a hotbed of terrorism and crime carried out by neighboring countries. Thousands of suspects, whether guilty or innocent, were detained without trial. People were arrested based on mere rumors or the settling of accounts — a scene that does not even play out under the most notorious of dictatorships.

Had there been any semblance of state structure, these crimes would not have been carried out in such an atrocious and degenerate manner. Mohamed al-Magariaf, head of Libya’s General National Congress, and his group represent this state and the rule of law, under which non-elected governments are allegedly operating.

Reviving Gadhafi’s rhetoric

The heads of the militias, who are in fact the fascist rulers of Libya, ought to ask themselves this pertinent question: Why do the people of Benghazi and all others throughout Libya hate us, after they fought with us against Muammar Gadhafi in cities and on fronts, placing us on pedestals and almost deifying us?

We are their sons and they are our families. Had it not been for them, we would not have fought nor triumphed. So why are they reviving Gadhafi’s rhetoric regarding liquor and hallucinations [Gadhafi having suggested his opponents during the uprising had been drugged]?

Gadhafi must be smiling in his grave as Libyans are fighting each other and becoming increasingly divided, after they had been united in fighting him.

These militia leaders have not done any self-examination in order to detach themselves from the desires that turned them into executioners. They returned to Libya with their backward, tyrannical cronies, who have pledged allegiance to foreign countries, holding high the banner of fraud, falsifying history and reaping the fruits of a revolution that was not theirs.

Instead of condemning illegal militants, they condemn normal citizens. They clamp down on the oppressed, who have lost all faith in the state’s integrity and confidence in honest rulers.

Thus, the Libyan people have finally surrendered to the anger that has been accumulating for months. They stormed the militias’ headquarters, embracing death with open arms.

The scene was reminiscent of the heroic attack Benghazi residents carried out against the brutal al-Fadhil security brigade during the reign of Gadhafi. On Feb. 18, 2011, the al-Fadil Brigade collapsed, and with its fall the former regime began to crumble, until its inevitable fall on Aug. 20 and the demise of its leader on Oct. 20 of the same year.

The second revolution

What happened in Benghazi on Friday evening [Sept. 21] can undoubtedly be described as a second revolution in Libya.

At the very least — to those who do not see what is happening as a revolution in a conceptual sense or based on the causes and results of the revolution — it is a real popular uprising. Some err, misjudge things, and mix up the facts by considering the uprising a premeditated attempt to create chaos or believe that it is being infiltrated by remnants of the former regime.

Anyone who has in-depth knowledge of Benghazi and its character — which essentially embodies the Libyan character in general — would be able to crack its code and read its signs. They would realize that Benghazi — which has suffered multiple wounds and has been stabbed in the heart — could not have possibly endured any more suffering.

Tripoli and other Libyan cities will no longer endure the harm, violations and criminality of the so-called rebels and militias in post-Gadhafi Libya, or the hotel heroes, television activists and those who have descended onto the seats of power, wealth and decision-making by parachute.

Since the fall of Gadhafi, intentional and deliberate mistakes have been accumulating. These mistakes — which have progressed into sins — did not begin with the centralization of the executive, security and economic powers in the buildings of the Council of Ministers, the ministries and the Central Bank.

They were preceded by practices, laws and decisions by the National Transitional Council (NTC), the main false witness to the violation of the homeland by countries, gangs, mafias, intelligence apparatuses, terrorists and spies. The NTC is like a husband who sanctions the illegal marriage of his Libyan wife to foreign grooms, and Libyan ones who still retain their foreign nationalities.

The most recent sins

These sins were not limited to the neglect of wounded rebels and the newly disabled, or distributing those of them who got the chance to travel for treatment among world hospitals, which turned into cemeteries and asylums.

The latest sin — certainly not the last — was Head of the General National Congress Mohammed Magarief’s announcement that al-Qaeda is present in Libya following the assassination of US ambassador Christopher Stevens, the “friend of the Libyan revolution.”

The Americans themselves did not dare to make such an announcement as investigations were incomplete.

The people of Benghazi and the eastern region and all Libyans saw Magarief’s statement as an assault against them, paving the way for involving Libya in the US and global war against al-Qaeda. It is a cruel, bitter and long war, one which will undoubtedly delay the achievement of stability and prosperity.

Magarief’s announcement may also be linked to the US Air Force and Marines violating Libyan airspace and waters under the umbrella of the so-called “Friends of Libya” coalition led by Qatar, whose terms and secrets Libyan politicians refuse to explain to the people. It is fair to describe the coalition as representative of an era of tutelage and mandate on Libya.

One of the greatest sins was the manipulation of the election results, which resulted in the minority becoming the authority as the majority was reduced to absolutely nothing.

Among the major sins committed by the NTC — all of which cannot be mentioned in this article — are the suspension of development, rampant unemployment, skyrocketing prices and the loss of hope by people who have sacrificed their soulds and the blood their sons to open new windows of hope, and who are ready to make further sacrifices to ensure that these windows are kept wide open.

A lot of blood was shed in Benghazi on the “Friday of Rage” against militias and the authorities. Much will be written to describe and analyze what happened and will happen. Still, there is a one truth, even if one looks at it from different angles.

The only truth is that the train of the revolution in Libya will not stop in the de facto station that is being imposed forcefully, falsely and through blackmail. The river of the revolution — a river of tears and blood which cannot be lost in the game of power and politics — will not run backward to the source.

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