23 Feb 2011

Gaddafi's ominous 'cockroach' threat

Colonel Gaddafi‘s speech in which he talked of the protesters as “drugged” and “cockroaches” has horrid resonances with past events.

“Cockroaches” is what the Hutu assassins call the Tutsis before the massacred 800,000 of them. “Cockroaches” is what the Nazis called Jews before they gassed some six million of them.

The prospects in Libya are not good. The defection of such hardliners as Gaddafi’s number two, and the interior minister suggest a bid to hang on to power after Gaddafi goes. The idea that the people will take power and mirror developments elsewhere in North Africa are fanciful. The people have never had power in that country. For the first time in these revolutionary times, we are witnessing army units amongst the people as participants rather than protectors.

A Libyan army general has described seeing Libyan air transporters bringing in hundreds of African mercenaries on 14 February – that, he says, is when he and many others decided to defect. These “mercenaries” have reportedly been the principle assassins of the people.

In the meantime the Saudi King – widely regarded as highly vulnerable, has raided his country’s coffers to throw a desperate bribe at his people – wage rises and other goodies. The King of Bahrain tried it there and it didn’t work.
It is hard to imagine the repressive forces of Saudi, some of the most infamous in Arabi not feeling the blowback from this continuing upheaval across the Arab world.

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