Monday, April 4, 2011
The resilience of the Libyan regime is creating a false sense of security among other Arab despots, analyst argues.
A GOOD PIECE
By Soumaya Ghannoushi
"The mayhem in Libya has given rise to many illusions. Among Arab dictators, it revived hopes of the possibility of escaping the fates of Ben Ali and Mubarak through the use of brutal force. Gaddafi’s model of the iron fisted ruler, who fights to the last drop, has been emboldening Arab dictators to brutally suppress any form of dissidence. In Yemen, Ali Abdullah Saleh has unleashed his thugs to massacre protesters in Taghyeer Square at the heart of the capital. In Syria, Bashar al-Assad has opened fire randomly on demonstrators in Daraa and Latakia, while in Jordan next door security services have violently dispersed a peaceful picket demanding reform. Gaddafi has been inspiring fellow despots to shift fear to the people’s camp through the use of terror.....
But the Libyan quagmire is not only reviving Arab rulers’ hopes of survival. It is also breathing life into the corpse of “humanitarian interventionism”. This thoroughly discredited notion is being resurrected from the dead to serve as a vehicle for riding the wave of change sweeping across the region and redirecting its course.....
While Tunisia and Egypt have presented Arabs with an inspiring model of change at minimal cost, Libya has stirred hopes among their rulers of the possibility of clinging on to power through naked violence and the threat of civil war. For their allies on the outside the brutal conflict has been a golden opportunity to wash their hands off their past and turn the course of change in their favour. The likelihood, however, is that the hopes pinned on Libya will turn out to be little more than illusions. The Arab political order, rotten to the core as it, is beyond salvation....."