SHOULD AULD ACQUAINTANCE BE FORGOT: As the tyrant totters, Qaddafi's sleazy apologists have memory loss

tyrannyterrifiedSince its 2003 rapprochement with the Leader and Guide of the Revolution. Muammar al-Qaddafi, when Libya agreed to abandon its WMD program, some Western leaders have been made to look either very compromised or very ridiculous in their dealings with the tyrant of Tripoli.

It does not get any more compromised than Gordon Brown’s release of the Lockerbie, al-Megrahi, bomber to return to Tripoli.

And it certainly does not get any more ridiculous, even grotesque, than ladies man Silvio Berlusconi’s ring-kissing of the dictator in April last year. We doubt even he has put his mouth in worse places.

At least gaffe-prone V-POTUS, Joe Biden, got Qaddafi right in an frank encounter when the Libyan dictator asked Biden why their bilateral relations were so poor:

“And I said, ‘That’s easy. You’re a terrorist. You killed people we like. And I said, ‘For example there’s 35 kids in the school I went to [Syracuse University in New York] you blew up over Lockerbie.’ And he looked at me and he said, quote, ‘That’s logical.”

It was not just heads of government that got the optics wrong.

In 2009, Human Rights Watch Middle East Director, Sarah Leah Whitson, declared a ‘Tripoli Spring’ was underway after she enjoyed a state tour of Libya hosted by Saif Qaddafi and his ‘quasi-governmental’ Qaddafi Foundation for International Charities and Development.

Whitson’s apologia for Libya’s golden boy – the same one who threatened his own people with military attacks on state TV a few nights ago – outraged the family of Fathi al-Jahmi, the democratic activist who died in 2009 from a long period of incarceration by Qaddafi. It has been widely noted by NGO-watchers that both Amnesty International and HRW did very little about out the death by torture of al-Jahmi, but were quick to stand on his shoulders.

Yes, bringing Libya out of isolation, normalising diplomatic relations and encouraging investment has been unedifying. It was also strategically correct.

First, it halted nuclear proliferation, allowed for an increase in inspections and helped stabilise the southern Mediterranean region.

Secondly the rapprochement led to greater diplomatic recognition and Western investment. Libya is a large resource rich nation with just six million people clinging to the coastal fringe living in isolation and fear. Investment laid the groundwork for the regime’s demise. Since 2003, Europe has soaked up most of Libya’s petroleum, ensuring it diversified its energy sources and risks. While generating the petrodollars, Qaddafi seemed to find new ways to humiliate Western hosts and visiting dignitaries. My favourite was Qaddifi’s invitation to a party with 500 hundred bunga-bunga girls in Rome. He proceeded to lecture them on the virtues of Koranic exegesis and hand out copies of his manifesto.

Qaddafi did not understand – it seems – that openness towards the West would introduce foreign skilled workers and professionals which in turn brought with them new technological platforms supporting new underground ideas and activities. Tripoli’s 1970s totalitarian regime simply could not withstand 21st century communications. Death by Facebook.

Third, if an open consensual government follows the fall of the al-Qaddafi family then Western realpolitik has just paid big dividends.

Fourth, we should be thinking about what kind of Libya might have been if it had a WMD program today. Could the UN Security Council even contemplate no-fly zones over Libyan airspace to stop an air force loyal to Qaddafi bombing civilians a la Guernica if the regime threatened to use WMDs against its neighbours or its own people?

What should not be forgotten is the Australian left’s Berlusconi-esque buffoonery towards and ring-kissing of Qaddafi.

We ought not forget Michael Mansell, the Tasmanian Aboriginal activist, who, in the 1980s, attended the repulsive 1987 Conference on Peace and Revolution in the Pacific and attempted to join the Al Mathaba group – a network of Libyan funded militas and insurgency groups.

(At the 2000 Al Mathaba conference, attendees included Robert Mugabe and Raul Reyes, a Colombian FARC leader)

At a high moral price, in 1988, Mansell sought and captured international recognition for the cause of Aboriginal Tasmanians, with his alternative Aboriginal passport. It was only valid for travel to and from Libya, an apparent socialist utopia for the Libya’s indigenous tribes.

Judging by this ABC Stateline edition from Tasmania, he is still unapologetic.

If I were an enterprising journalist in Launceston or Hobart, I would be phoning Mansell to comment about his vile trip to a totalitarian regime that is now crumbling. I would also ask about any lingering pride in his passport stunt and then demand an apology for bringing Indigenous movements into such ill repute through his self-indulgent grandstanding.

Green Left Weekly, the pulsating organ of an extreme left wing Trotskyite outfit calling itself the Democratic Socialist Perspective, has been conspicuously active on pro-Libyan issues since 1990s. Not once has it hesitated to defend the despicable regime against any perceived acts of American aggression while praising Libya for its anti-imperialist resistance. The DSP incorporates some of the nutbags of the defunct but violent International Socialist Organisation and ‘Resistance’ from the eighties and is endorsed by leftwing ‘journalist and broadcaster’ and Julian Assange spruiker, John Pilger.

Examples of pro-Libyan fawning include Green Left Weekly correspondent, Lisa MacDonald, reporting from Tripoli in 1997 where she attended the Libyan Government sponsored conference, the International Spring Festival for Peace and Freedom. She predictably called for the end of UN sanctions against Libya and for international solidarity against UN sanctions against Libya.  Never mind the terrorism!

According to a 2003 Green Left Weekly edition by Norm Dixon wrote of a United States cruelly victimising revolutionary Libya:

The Qadhafi regime nationalised foreign banks and oil companies. Libya’s nationalised oil wealth funded an impressive range of welfare provisions for Libya’s citizens, including free health care and education.

This attempt at independent political and economic development incensed Washington, especially as it coincided with a wave of similar attempts in Third World countries in the 1970s and 1980s. The Qadhafi regime made links with a diverse range of anti-imperialist and national liberation movements throughout the world.

Only a deluded idiot would think that the American industrial complex would find provocative a minute public health and education system somewhere in the Sahara. Libya as a kind of Cuba in the Maghreb over which to coo softly is as risible as it is pathetic. The Qaddafi klepto-family ransacked their nation of its natural wealth and left public infrastructure to corrode (not unlike the real Cuba).

What was provocative about Qaddafi was his lethal adventurism throughout Africa and the Middle East and his backing of international terrorists, which apparently passes for ‘a diverse range of anti-imperialist and national liberation movements’ among the nutty extreme left.

Qaddafi helped train the Provisional IRA and Basque separatists; he gave refuge to Palestine terrorist organisations; he incited the Toyota wars with Chad in a land grab for its uranium enriched soils; he fought a war with Nasserite Egypt in the seventies; his diplomatic missions committed outrages in Europe, including the Lockerbie and flew troops into the Congo to collaborate with rebels in blood mining.

He was a ‘neither Washington, nor Moscow’ kind of contrarian predating the Islamic Republic of Iran’s rejection of Cold War alliances that entangled Egypt, Syria, Iraq and the House of Saud. Little wonder Libya was the only Arab League nation to side with Iran during the bloody Iran-Iraq War.

If there was ever a rogue, totalitarian state running amok in other countries’ affairs, it was Qaddafi’s Libya.

Certainly this editorial consistency invites the question: was the DSP members and Green Left Weekly recipients of Qaddafi’s blood money?

Some on the left are rattling with excitement because of the 2011 North African revolutions. These events are portrayed as youth revolutions or social media revolutions or radically secular revolutions or more quaintly, general-strikes-by-workers revolutions, as the unreconstructed Trotskyite, John Passant, has revisionised.

My guess is these revolutions are modestly modernist and tentatively democratic, but as any good commie knows from reading The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon, revolutions can turn reactionary.

Pitifully, the Australian left are now organising rallies in various capital in support of the Libyan revolution. They think we’ll forget quickly about their pro-Qaddafi enthusiasm that lasted decades. They should think again.

Many old lefties will be standing beneath the official flags of Libya’s constitutional monarchy held high by proud Libyan refugees persecuted by a regime clapped-out lefties once exalted as revolutionary or visit for ‘conferences’ … and without any hint of irony.

Long Live King Idris and Queen Fatima!!




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51 responses to “SHOULD AULD ACQUAINTANCE BE FORGOT: As the tyrant totters, Qaddafi's sleazy apologists have memory loss

  1. fair go

    What? No mention of that old lefty Tim Fisher?

  2. good grief!

    Tim, as a committed agrarian socialist, was very loyal to the revolutionary Qaddafi … God bless him!


    Good point about Tim the Fischer, we will dig up our series of articles on his various frolics with Arab dictators, Libya’s in particular.

  4. cynic

    You read that rag. I gave wasting my time years ago. Got to the point of just being very sad reading that drivel put out that no one reads. It is so far its own arse it is in its black hole and irrlevant.

  5. Captain (Retired) Adrian Jackson, ASM (SE Asia), DFSM & Clasp, ADM

    Michael Mansell the blue eyed Aboriginal from Tasmania.

    I think all bongs who want to claim special status or special funding or special housing or special welfare payments should have a DNA test to prove that they are at least 75% native Australia before they are eligible.

  6. heinrich

    The BBC’s John Simpson tells about the time he interviewed Colonel Gaddafi. Here’s Simpson recalling the occasion in an interview:
    You interviewed Colonel Gaddafi once and he kept breaking wind. How did you keep a straight face?

    Because I didn’t know at the time. The cameraman picked it all up from a little microphone on his robes. He asked me if I knew what had happened and I said no. I didn’t believe him when he told me and then we listened to the recording and it was obvious. Gaddafi was actually doing it to add emphasis to what he was saying.

  7. Head of Libyan mission to UN says ‘nation is in danger,’ says Gadhafi can decide to stop bloodshed

  8. good grief!

    Andrew, Adrian’s racism is absolutely repulsive. I think it is time to block him.

  9. silence is consent

    judging by GLW’s silence, the old guard are admitting there is blood on its hands. They are truly disgusting people!

  10. Marco the pool cleaner

    Gaddafi the only person in the world with more money than Kathy Jackson!!

  11. Captain (Retired) Adrian Jackson, ASM (SE Asia), DFSM & Clasp, ADM

    good grief – are you Hosni Mubarak.

    “Bong” is just Aussie slang so get use to it you nameless wonder.

    Haven’t you see the 1950’s film “A Town Like Alice” with Peter Finch who used the term or read Mark Twain’s book “Huckleberry Finn” that used the term “nigger” (which only mean “dark” in wog) over 100 time.

    Now getting back to the bongs I am sick of paying taxes to people who will not work and commit crimes in places like a town like Alice Springs.

  12. blackmambo

    GLW…my god does that still exist?

  13. blackmambo

    ha ha …yes Green Left Weekly indeed does exist (actually why am I laughing..) but check out this lovely endorsement for it on its website:

    “Without Green Left Weekly, freedom of press and public truth-telling in Australia would be gravely ill.” – John Pilger

  14. Cardinal Pell

    Brother Abbott meet me in my Pulpit a few new young male Disciples need to be inducted into our Brotherhood.

  15. Captain (Retired) Adrian Jackson, ASM (SE Asia), DFSM & Clasp, ADM

    It’s interesting that the civil unrest in the Middle East and North Africa are in Republics with a President or in Absolute or near Absolute Monarchies.

    Constitutional Monarchies work but Republics do not. There are no successful Republics anywhere.

  16. Real

    I refer to Private Adrian Jackson’s assertion that people be DNA tested to prove they are eligible for funding.

    Can we apply this to cowards like Adrian and test his blood for the degree of yellow that flows through his system? This man accepted a wage from taxpayers and wore an Australian military uniform, yet it is obvious he was doing so fraudulantly. The man is a human-chicken hybrid. He has no guts or gonads, and was paid falsely.

    We cannot be spending our money on a waiter and filing clerk who is deceptively getting a wage as an army person.

    DNA test at once!! No more yellow blood in our military, I say. Ban all chickens from the Army.

  17. H the B

    @Captain (Retired) Adrian Jackson, ASM (SE Asia), DFSM & Clasp, ADM: Michael Mansell the blue eyed Aboriginal from Tasmania.

    I think all JEWS who want to claim special status or special funding or special housing or special welfare payments should have a DNA test to prove that they are at least 75% JEW before they are eligible.

    Time to move Andrew.

  18. H the B

    Is that censorship

  19. It is RACIST

    Abstudy and other schemes that give money to one racial group at the exclusion of all others is by definition racist.

  20. Dicktation

    If were going to bother to read your articles could you at least do us the courtesy of editing them, more spelling mistakes and grammatical errors than in your neverending target The Age.

  21. Marco the pool cleaner

    Why are HSU staff forced to donate $40 a a week out of their pay to the Williamson slush fund? What will icac say?

  22. Captain (Retard) Wacko Jacko, (Active) WANKER

    I don like Joos or Abos.

  23. virtualman

    No one takes Green left Weekly seriously, so why are you?

  24. Jason Fellatio

    I know of some leaders who have hung around even longer – not allowing a logical handover of power – get the message Bronwyn?

  25. Real

    In reply to the “It is Racist” fool who posted here, by your definition schemes that provide money only to women are sexist. So let’s end all breast and cervical cancer funding as it only targets one group. maternity leave – middle calss welfare. You want kids, you pay for them, right bud?

    And money for people with a disability – that must go too. Why should we fund people who have a disability over and above others? That is a form of disability-racism is it not?

    And frigging old people and their welfare rights. What, just because you’re old you get taxpayer funded subsidy. Racism! Agism! Young people should get the pension to.

    And how about those taxpayer subsidies just cause a lot of water wrecked your farm, or no water ever got to your farm? Farmism, it’s discrimination. I live in the city and get nada, yet these people get my money just cause they wear a wide brimmed hat and R.M Williams boots. Bludgers.

    And distance education payments? It’s not my fault you live in woop woop. Move to the city, don’t get handouts from government.

    And what do you do for a living ‘It Is racist’?

  26. bloodbathing

    does any one recall Sandra Bloodworth from the International Socialists Organisation … LEft alliance used to call her Sandra Bloodbath

  27. Sandy Taggert

    In the 1980s a number of Socialist Left MPs visited Libya on their way to visit their Eastern European allies & a number of people they visited returned to Victoria for a tour of parliament house conducted by Socialist Left MPs. Some even had a cocktail party reception organised for them!

  28. anon

    Marco Pool Cleaner – Well they may be paying $40 now for the HSU slush fund, but what happened to the thousands and thousands of dollars illegally withdrawn a couple of years ago. Appears SHAM cannot do anything about it, they employ old people to answer their phones for FREE – so they do not need a slush fund – talk about slave labour

  29. fair go

    @Sandy – Yes, you run that line annually. Perhaps it needs updating, how about current Gaddafi lobbyist Richard Perle, a former Reagan-era US Defense Department official and George W. Bush-era chair of the US Defense Policy Board? Tony Blair also springs to mind. Mmmm, Berlusconi? I would be more concerned about the snouts in troughs of the modern politicians than harping back to the 1980s.

  30. What?

    Anon you make no sense about HSU slush funds

  31. Support older workers

    Leave HSAM alone you fool Bolano! You are being thrashed by a private company idiot! the only missing money is in Kathy Jacksons bank account!

  32. wft?

    @fair go:

    Hmmm, Western investors and leaders never pretended that Libya was not run by a lunatic. The right never pretended it was a progressive revolutionary post-Orientalist force in modern politics or that sanctions weren’t merited or that Gaddafi was behind the Lockerbie and other outrages… the left did and did so for decades! As Andy’s post illustrates, the left wing brown nosing continued well after the Berlin Wall fall … how sad to be leftie

  33. Irene Webber

    What about supporting older volunteers?

  34. Former Mayor T

    Go away Webber, you should find a nice nursing home, BTW you were sacked for being an idiot

  35. Panch joke

    Oh no Webber is still alive

  36. It is RACIST

    So, if there’s money given to someone because of their race, let’s say aboriginals in “Abstudy” for example to the exclusion of all others based upon race, will there be a “Whstudy” for ethnic whites?

    Of course not, because racism can only be performed by whites on “minorities” not visa versa…right?

  37. Real

    Listen ‘It is racist’, you may need to think this through very carefully. If it is racist and unfair to give specific assistance to one group based on colour, then it is also unfair to give to other groups based on exclusion/inclusion of others.
    That makes sence doesn’t it? If helping disadvantaged black kids get educated is unfair, then so to is distance education for rural kids.

    Why should some hillbilly from woop woop get subsidies to send their white loinfruit to city schools? I had to walk to my school – so by your reasoning, singling out a group based on geography, like race, is anfair and indeed is based on funding a minority.

    Ipso facto, we must end all disability support, as it would be unfair to give to one group based on perceived disadvantage. We must stop aid to farmers – I do not farm and why should we support one worker over another based on their minority status as ‘farmers’. What, if I farm dental floss and it floods, I should get support from taxpayers??

    The government doesn’t give me ‘welfare’ when my business has bad times.

    You are a racist because you don’t understand that governments help people with specific needs, be they old, remote, Aboriginal, youth, women etc.

    But maybe you’re just too dumb to understand needs based support?

  38. Steve


    Abstudy and the like are effectively racist programs. Welfare (or any other advantage) based purely on race is by definition racist. What you’re talking about is the very opposite to needs based support.

    Welfare should be based on actual need, not percieved need based on the colour of a person’s skin or their ethnic background. So an Aboriginal child from a low socio-economic background should recieve the same level of support as any other child in the same situation, just as a middle-class or wealthy Aboriginal children should not be recieving any affirmative action or government welfare (to clarify, I don’t think anyone in this category should).

    Why do you have an issue with this? Does your claim that ‘governments (sic) help people with specific needs, be they old, remote, Aboriginal, youth, women etc.’ imply that all Aboriginal people are hopeless and cannot help themselves? I read this as being a very racist statement. The same applies to your comment about women. I know a lot of women that are very capable and need no government assistance to live very meaningful, productive lives.

    Perhaps you should check yourself for some very strong underlying discrimantory attitudes.

  39. Real

    Steve, you sound like a complete twert so I’ll spell this out for you.

    Abstudy is a program designed to assist a section of society who experience disadvantage enter into and continue their education. They are disadvantaged for myriad reasons, including dispossesion, discrimination, regional inequities and so on. You may not know this, but whites were not invited here and our arrival destoyed a history going back 40,000+ years.

    We also provide subsidies for others in education, based on needs – Aboriginal people are a needs group, as are young, old, women, men, able, disabled, deaf, blind, are dumb, like you.

    So to expect that in 10 generations all is equal for blacks is delusional. We have other unequal parts of society, or do you think we are all equal?

    If so, then you must abolish EVERY inequity, including sick leave (why should you get paid if you are not at work and I am), maternity leave (I’m never gonna get pregnant), military compensation (why should soldiers get ‘danger’ money, it’s their choice to fight, not mine), funding for breast and cervical cancer (ditto, I won’t get them, so why should my money pay for someone else’s assistance), disability support, war widows pensions (hey, they didn’t fight, so why do they get our money?), Olypic sports (they don’t fund my sporting needs, so why should I fund theirs) and so on.

    You are so Tea Party. And, like most cretins, you will want your hospital, roads, schools, police, transport, council etc to be there when you need them.

  40. Woeful Lowrain

    Ted did not let me have a go at being leader this week and Louise Asher is not as sexy as I am .But all those boys who are in town during a parliamwntary sitting would find being away from home very difficult if I did not provide some comfort to them. I am very good at providing confort. I have had plenty of practice.

  41. It is RACIST

    Steve got that pretty much right. If you are poor and need support for education etc that’s fine.

    But if its you are poor and aboriginal you get funding but if you are poor and white its too bad then thats racist.

    All funding should be on need, irrelevant of gender or your skin colour.

  42. Leigh Lowe

    What is Abstudy?
    Is the stream of Anatomy which studies the Abs.

  43. Steve

    Wow Real, you have to be one of the worst debaters I have ever encountered on the Internet. That is quite a distinction. First you throw logic out the window, then you jump right in with the ad hominem attacks.

    You assume I am a cretin and a twerp without knowing anything about me, except that I disagree with you on this particular issue. Nice of you to be so tolerant of difference.

    First, I never said that those who are not disadvantaged should not recieve extra assistance. I merely disagreed that ethnicity was an effective means of determining disadvantage. Sure, Indigenous Australians have higher rates of disadvantaged and will therefore recieve higher rates of welfare (although I am sure you would disagree with my solutions to fixing this problem, too), but to assume that all Aboriginals are disadvantaged and therefore need Government help is racist, patronising and the worst sort of hypocracy.

    To then take this position to the extreme and say it means I should take a certain position on a range of entirely unrelated issues is indulging in a particularly excessive form of the slippery slope fallacy.

    All workers recieve sick leave, so clearly there is no discrimination there. You get paid one day I work and you don’t, but in the future I may be sick when you are not. No inequity there. Medical care should again be based on needs (if you are sick and cannot afford to pay for necessary care, you should be covered), disability support is again needs based, so happy for someone who actually needs assistance to be assisted, and etc.

    I see no inconsistancy in positions. And to take issue with you lumping me in with the Tea Party, you’re quite off the mark. Sure, I am all for the lowest possible level of taxation, but in fact have no problem paying tax for essential services, important infrastructure and a limited social security safety net that can be expanded and contracted as economic conditions dictate.

    This certainly has to be better than a dimwitted lefty that takes their talking points from Green Left Weekly and has never thought through an issue on their own, ever. If you had, you might see that your own position is actually incredibly bigoted and is the sort of attitude that has perhaps helped keep a large number of disadvantaged people in situations of terrible poverty and despair. Oh, did I just ad hominem you back? Apologies. You must be rubbing off on me.

  44. Real

    Fair enough Steve, your points are valid and well argued.

    I do however find this ‘low taxation’ argument bamboozling. People (not saying you) demand everything of government – why didn’t they build a dam to stop floods, why isn’t my community being rebuilt after fire, why are the roads full of holes, where are the cops to stop crime, why did I have to wait in the ED for hours, my kids don’t get a good edjumacation, where’s medicare to pay my health costs etc – and then say they should pay less and that ‘others’ get subsidies and benefits.

    The line seems to be they want more services but pay less tax. It doesn’t work that way.

    Abstudy is such an easy target – lookee Mildred, them Abo’s get handouts and I cain’t. But you do, we all get to benefit in some way from the public purse.

    You single out one form of assistance and cry racism when it is a benefit for a group – it matters not a wit if that group is black red, white, male, female, young or old, disabled or impaired: it is targetted assistance to a special needs category. It is racism to believe otherwise.

    And yes, anyone who even reads Green Left Weekly is a crank.

  45. Steve

    Hi Real,

    That was a much better response, thank you for taking a more considered tone.

    I totally agree that those who demand more government services while complaining about the tax rate are fools. My preference would be for an entirely restructured system that took less total tax, and involved somewhat less government spending in most, but not all areas.

    This isn’t about cutting all social spending or services, but instead about recognising that a lot of it is churn (first home buyers grant, tax deductions) or a disincentive to taking personal responsibility (Medicare, the Family Tax Benefit).

    This is not saying I believe all such schemes should be abolished, but that instead strict means testing should be used to ensure only those that truly need welfare recieve it.

    I agree Abstudy is hardly the worst offender (I didn’t bring it up) when it comes to giving out money to those that don’t need it. Most recipients are probably worthy. I just find race an absurd criteria for measuring need.

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