Sunday 16 October 2011

A dead Sirte

Sirte has been a horrendous battle, in which the death toll may well run into many thousands. The city, still full of civilians, was pounded by NATO planes, then pummelled by heavy artillery fire. Whatever the Western media may think of them, the towns defenders have shown incredible resistance to the firepower leashed upon them.

The struggle for Libya has ended the hope I have had for the Arab Spring. After Tunisia and Egypt, one could genuinely feel that people power, despite overwhelming odds, could non-violently change society for the better.

Could that have happened in Libya? Perhaps in Libya, like in Syria and Bahrain, the well armed state could ultimately always repel the peoples desire for change. I'm not sure now if these countries could ever have had a successful people's revolution.

But what I do know, is that by blasting Sirte and several other pro-Gaddafi cities into oblivion, and by the death of up to 50,000 Libyans in the civil war so far - the future does not bode well. The new government is facing accusations of widespread torture and corruption. It seems to have made extraordinary oil related financial deals based on Western military support. This is not a good way to kick start a democracy.

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