Following the Green Book


https://i1.wp.com/www.libyan-stamps.com/images2/x-REVOLUTION-1984msdetail04.jpg

The way we understand or interpret anything is determined by the way we frame it.   In the “news-world” of revolutions and politics, the journalists and politic-ans do the framing for us, that is if we let them.  Sometimes the only way to re frame an issue is to take enough time to digger a little deeper than we normally do.   The unrest in the Middle East has forced me to do that more and more; and Libya even more so that Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain and Yemen (by the way, the president of Yemen, Ali Abdullah Saleh apologized today for blaming the United States and Israel) –  there is more to Gaddafi than meets the eye.

The situation in Libya is not much changed today, nor is it much different than it was a week ago; that is if you are not there  and living with the reality of events that are just pictures, sound bits and reportage to those of us watching from a distance.  Gaddafi did make a new speach during a televised public rally in his support; all of the major Arab news sources covered the speach – they did not rebroadcast it, or produce a transcript, instead they quoted short bits – all demonstrating Gaddafi fragile grip on reality.  The Guardian even did a comparison of Gaddafi and Charlie Sheen – the Guardian had a list of quotes as a test readers were asked to pick whether Gaddafi or Sheen had made the statement – again further demonstrating that both men lived in an alternative reality. Feel free to take it, but you will have to go to the Guardian for the answers.

1. I have defeated this earthworm with my words – imagine what I would have done with my fire-breathing fists

2. Your face will melt off and your children will weep over your exploded body

3. Life without dignity is worthless

4. I’m extremely old-fashioned, I’m a nobleman, I’m chivalrous

5. I am like the Queen of England

6. I am much bigger than any rank, for those who are talking about rank, I am a fighter

7. Every great movement begins with one man

8. These resentments, they are the rocket fuel that lives in the tip of my sabre

9. I woke up at 4am, before dawn. You should be asleep. You’re all tired after a sleepless night

10. 9/11 was ‘an absolute fairytale, a complete work of fiction’

Until today, that has been my opinion also – Gaddafi and Sheen are just nuts; but in doing a bit more research on Gaddafi I see his behavior a little differently than I did before.  Today I wonder if Gaddafi is not just a politician who believes his own politics – you know like the Speaker of the House or the Majority Leader in the Senate?  Forty some years ago, Gaddafi lead what he saw as a socialist revolution.  He wanted to bring dignity to Libya and to Libyan workers – “Partners – Not Wager Earners”“Wage Earners Are A Type of Slave, However Improved Their Wages May be” “The Recognition of Profit is an Acknowledgment of Exploitation.” Gaddafi also wanted a better democracy than those he saw in other places.  He said political parties divided a society and did not create democracy – “To Make A Party You Divide Society”  – “The Party System Aborts Democracy.”

Gaddafi wanted a “pure” democracy for Libya – a democracy of committees; the people would choose a committee to govern locally, the committee would choose a committee to govern nationally. “Committees Everywhere” “No Democracy without Popular Congress” “Democracy is Supervision of the People by the People.” The slogans come from stamps printed by the Libyan government – the sayings are part of the Green Book – Gaddafi’s political philosophy. He maintains he has no position and therefore cannot resign, the power and authority according to Gaddafi and in keeping with his philosophy lies solely with the people.

In light of his political philosophy, Gaddafi’s comments are not so strange – except the al-Qaeda stuff.  I do admit the al-Qaeda conspiracy borders on the strange; he was even more adamant today that al-Qaeda is the force behind the unrest: “The soldiers went home and left their battalion” while the al-Qaeda cells “took the weapons and control of the town. It was the same situation in Benghazi.” He is offering amensty to the Libyans who have sucked into the al-Qaeda plot if they turn in thier weapons and join the forces of good.  But most of the rest of quotes fit perfectly in the scheme of the Green Book; Gaddafi is just a true believer, he believes in the philosophy of the Green Book and well he should as he wrote it.

I don’t agree with much of what he has done over the last 40 years, but I can respect his dedication to his principles.  Principle are the foundation of politics, aren’t they?  As Congress fights over the budget, heath care and a wide variety of other issues we will be exposed to acrimonious debate after debate and much name calling.  And regardless of which side is speaking or what the issue is, half of the American electorate will agree and half will disagree – all based on political philosophy and party loyalty.  Harry Reid and John Boehner will lead the charge and the debates with passion and commitment.  Muammar Gaddafi is doing the same thing, leading his followers with passion and commitment.  I would not want him representing me, but most days I don’t want Reid or Boehner representing me either. Politics is a messy business before anyone brings a gun to the party.

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1 Response to “Following the Green Book”


  1. 1 lynne rosner March 3, 2011 at 7:18 am

    I enjoyed your post. Of course being a woman I wanted to look at his bank account online and I think as a woman, again, I might thoroughly enjoy reading the philosophy of Farhat Bengdara and why he chose to sully his priviledge with the chip money left to us, the community, from the elders of the cradle company.


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