‘That’s What You Said…’

Dariela Aquique

Moammar Gadhafi. Photo: cubadebate.cu

There’s a curious Russian anecdote about a police officer who arrested a man for talking about the dictator in public. He was taken prisoner and sentenced to be shot.  Stalin, who used to sign the execution orders, was curious about the charges against this individual:

“Did he say my name?” Stalin asked.
“No, but the policeman said he could tell that he was talking about you,” replied the court official.
To which Stalin replied:
“Ah, so this officer thought that since he was talking about a dictator, then he was referring to me. Well execute him too for considering me a tyrant.”

I bring up this story because it relates to a response to my entry about the assassination of Gadhafi – I repeat, “assassination,” because I believe he was killed in a depraved manner. Perhaps a trial in which he would have been sentenced would have been more ethical and human, without beating and shooting him – which I think was revolting.

As for the NATO intervention, which also left things clear, to me this seemed to be immoral opportunism, because whatever might be the internal dimensions and conflicts within a nation, those should be resolved by the inhabitants themselves, without external interlopers.

But that doesn’t mean that Gadhafi should be considered a hero, or that he was wrongfully removed from power.  It’s true that the insurgent troops received military support from NATO, and for this they’ll be charged at a premium.  We will see the plundering of their nation’s wealth and interference in its economy, politics and society, so that later they may have other reasons for rioting – this time against that former allies.

But that is a matter of time and increasing awareness on the part of the Libyans.  What concerns me are certain pro-Gadhafist opinions that are attempting to sublimate the persona of this individual, who (as quoted in the post) did in fact make great contributions to Libya’s social development and economy stability with his progressive programs.

But how did the progress of that country stagnate?  It happened when the leader who once undertook those progressive changes incurred the sclerosis of power and imposed his ideology as the only one permissible, refused to allow questioning or opponents, made the study of his books compulsory and destroyed all vestiges of democracy.

This is what happened to the Libyans.  Those who were not sheep began their struggle, while those who were content preferred that situation to any change.  Eventually the conflict became an excuse for the major powers to take advantage of the circumstances.

One person commenting on my entry called me a traitor for speaking out this way, asking me what I would do or say if this same thing happened in Cuba or Venezuela.

In this there’s is a curious detail: Why did this person find common points between Libya, Venezuela and my island?  This reminds me of Stalin’s logic.  Was their comment implying that Cuba is ruled by a tyrant?  To borrow from a very Cuban saying, I would reply: “That’s what you said…”

5 thoughts on “‘That’s What You Said…’

  • “Freedom” and “democracy” at work in “liberated” Libya

    (Libya militia ‘terrorises’ pro-Gaddafi town of Tawargha)

    31 October 2011 Last updated at 08:23 ET

    Libya militia ‘terrorises’ pro-Gaddafi town of Tawargha

    Militias from the Libyan city of Misrata are “terrorising” displaced residents of the town of Tawargha over their alleged loyalty to Muammar Gaddafi, says a rights group.

    The entire town, once home to 30,000 people, has been abandoned, said US-based Human Rights Watch (HRW).

    Parts have been ransacked and burnt and residents told not to return, it said.

    The ruling NTC said it has ordered its forces not to loot and that an inquiry would be held in case of wrongdoing.

    “We are in complete harmony. If there has been anything outside the law, there will be an investigation,” said Deputy Defence Minister Fawzi Abu Katif.

    HRW said it had reports of militiamen shooting unarmed Tawarghans and of arbitrary arrests and beatings, some of them leading to deaths, HRW said.

    The militias are accusing the Gaddafi loyalists in Tawargha of committing atrocities, such as murder and rape, alongside Gaddafi forces in Misrata.

    The majority of the town’s residents are non-Arab Libyans, many of them descendants of African slaves.

    “Revenge against the people from Tawargha, whatever the accusations against them, undermines the goal of the Libyan revolution,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, HRW’s Middle East and North Africa director.

    “In the new Libya, Tawarghans accused of wrongdoing should be prosecuted based on the law, not subject to vigilante justice,” she added.

    HRW says its conclusions were based on the testimonies of dozens of people across the country.

    Pro-Gaddafi forces used Tawargha as a base for attacks on Misrata when they besieged the city during the Libyan uprising.

    The anti-Gaddafi militia fought their way out and began an advance on the Libyan capital, Tripoli, back in August.

  • You shouldn’t be piling up on Dariela, Cimarron and Grady! If she gets most of her info. from GRANMA, JUVENTUD REBELDE, etc., her sources are limited. Official Cuban sources filter even such the lefty sources as the Huffington Post to CounterPunch, let alone such righty sources as the Drudge Report. (And this is one of the reasons why the Havana Times, and other Cuban sources, are so refreshing. Generally, though, her analysis is right on, as will become more and more obvious as the new authoritiies in Libya begin to govern. Perhaps how the new authorities are dealing with the sub-Saharan imigrants is a “dress rehersal” with how the N.A.T.O. nations will be dealing with both sub- and alto-Saharan imigres to Europe in the future. Finally, don’t you think that Comrade Stalin did have a rather unusual sense of humor, one might call it black humor, which is underappreciated these days?!

  • It is interesting that Ms Aquique has cause to express her concern about “certain pro-Gadhafist opinions that are attempting to sublimate the persona of this individual”. In her two articles about Libya Ms Aquique sees fit to pontificate about Gadhafi but she has not a single word of concern to express about the genocidal and fascistic actions of the Libyan Nato-mercenaries targeted especially at Libyan blacks and sub-Saharan migrants.

    This matter is no news. A wide spectrum of media sources have reported and continue to report the ongoing racist crimes of the Libyan NTC (better translated as the National Terrorist Council). None of these news sources could be described as pro-Gadhafi: Drudgereport, Al-Jazeera, BBC, The Huffington Post, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The
    Telegraph, Time, Al Arabiya, The Guardian, Human Rights Watch…Counterpunch, Angry Arab Blogspot, to mention a few. There is no way Dariela Aquique can feign ignorance.

    And yet she doesn’t see a need to express an iota of concern for the fate of the Libyan blacks, sub-Saharan migrants and assorted dark-skinned people from Bangladesh, Pakistan and other Asian countries. She apparently did not see the pictures of 100’s of massacre victims after the “liberation” of Tripoli – most of whom were black. And she never heard of Tarwegha, the predominantly black town, which today shares the unenviable fate of Lidice (Czech Republic), My Lai (Vietnam) and Wiriyamu (Mozambique).

    The Chairman of the African Union, Jean Ping condemned the massacres:
    “NTC seems to confuse black people with mercenaries…Blacks are being killed. Blacks are having their throats slit. Blacks are accused of being mercenaries. Do you think it’s normal in a country that’s a third black that blacks are confused with mercenaries?” .

    One must question Ms Aquique’s selective morality and journalistic standards. Is she not “sublimating” the crimes of those who overthrew Gadhafi? Is that more convenient than telling the whole truth?

  • Dariela, you say: ” It’s true that the insurgent troops received military support from NATO . . .” Uh, excuse me. They didn’t receive military support from NATO; they served as propaganda cover for for NATO’s massive military invasion and takeover of that sovereign country. It’s the Western media that are pretending that the “revolutionaries” there have overthrown a dictator.

    By minimizing what has happened and focusing on the brutal killing of Gadahfi, you sing in harmony with, and do the work of the monopoly capitalist propaganda machine. It is legitimate to wonder therefore if, in a hypothetical future scenario where Cuba or Venezuela is invaded, you would write a similar article focusing on the supposed defects of an assassinated leader.

    To my knowledge, no one called you a traitor in the English language HT comments section. It is interesting however that you would make that inference. Perhaps your anecdote of Stalin is more instructive than you know.

  • Bien dicho, más, ¡bien hecho!

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