Middle East Spring of Discontent: Libya

The Spring of Discontent surges forward in the Middle East—with Libya and Bahrain showing strong symptoms of public anger and discontent against their rulers. In Tripoli, the Libyan capital, mercenaries that Libya’s dictator, Mu`ammar al-Qadhdhafi had cultivated over the years were reported to be killing dozens of people on the streets late on Sunday.

News reports say that hundreds of people died at the hands Libyan security forces during their peaceful protests. Sources say that sections of the Libyan army have turned against their boss. Libya’s dictator, Mu`ammar al-Qadhdhafi (knowns as Gadhafi in the Western press) for the past 42 years has been more of a curse on his people than the hopeful pledge he gave when overthrow the monarchy of King Idris in 1969.

Over the years Qadhdhafi moved from one hair brained scheme to another from supporting European terrorist groups to bankrolling African dictators. Today Libyans are impoverished despite the country’s extraordinary oil riches that only profit the ruling elites while the country’s youth remain unemployed and hopeless.

On Sunday night Sayf al-Islam al-Qadhdhafi, the dictator’s son incoherently rambled with almost the same dull style and intonations of his father on Libyan television. He issued threats and held out a broken olive-branch to the dissidents in a pathetic attempt to dupe the Libyan public. All he could do was to promise them a blood-bath if they did not surrender to his father’s rule and blamed Islamists, marauders and drug addicts for the uprisings. Reports say that Sayf al-Islam’s dialogue with a group of Islamists imprisoned for decades resulted in their recent release. It is suspected that some of the Islamists released might have been instrumental in fomenting the insurrection in the eastern part of the country, with Benghazi as its center.

About ebrahimmoosa

Professor of Islamic Studies, University of Notre Dame, Indiana, USA
This entry was posted in Ethics, Foreign Policy, Ghadafi; Qaddafi, Middle East, middle east, US Politics and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Middle East Spring of Discontent: Libya

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Middle East Spring of Discontent: Libya | DIHLIZ: The Spaces In-Between -- Topsy.com

  2. Sam says:

    Why do they call it the Middle eastern spring though


    • ebrahimmoosa says:

      They call it the Arab spring, although I cannot recall seeing it used as the Middle eastern spring, as you phrase it. “Middle East spring” would be inaccurate, since not all the countries in the region are affected. I think it has to do with the season in the northern hemisphere when the uprisings began. I have seen bloggers in the Arabic language use the same term. But now the uprisings in Libya, Syria, Yemen and in Bahrain have migrated into the summer.


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