Surely the pro-intervention success story of Libya will now spur the West to remove Assad as they did Gaddafi?
Libya has held its first democratic election since 1964, filling the blogosphere with tales of jubilation and relief as the memories of Gaddafi’s tyrannical rule are blocked out by hope for the future.
The BBC reports:
Results from Libya’s first elections since the overthrow of Col Gaddafi have shown gains for an alliance of parties seen as broadly secular.
The National Forces Alliance, led by ex-interim prime minister Mahmoud Jibril, has won 39 out of 80 seats reserved for political parties.
The Muslim Brotherhood’s party has gained 17. The 200-member General National Assembly will also include dozens of independent candidates. The overall orientation that the assembly will have is so far unclear.
Stories from the streets and polling stations of Libya show a country ecstatic about their new democratic freedom.
• Syria: When will the West act? 2 Jan 2012
• Gaddafi is dead. Long live Libya 20 Oct 2011
One Libyan blogger, Mahamd Zaroug, wrote of the joy felt in this town:
“Many citizens on the roads near the Corniche Benghazi Freedom Square are waving national flags…
“Amid music and patriotic songs, expressing their joy in this unique event witnessed by their country. The celebrations continued in Benghazi until the early hours of the morning.”
Women are falling into each other’s arms, teary-eyed and sometimes crying. Everywhere you see people posing for pictures, proudly holding up their purple fingers.
I see two middle-aged men run to hug each other. Their friends have joined and it’s now a group hug. Passersby flash the victory sign at them, call out Allahu Akbar, and pat them on the back.
One native Libyan who fled his home country in 1979 told The Maui News:
“I thought my time would come before his time. I want to see it one more time. I never thought I’d see it. I thought the day would never come.
“To see Libya liberated – that was the greatest feeling.”
The leader in The Economist last week told how the elections signalled possible vindication for intervention in Libya:
Though much could still go wrong, the case for Western intervention is being vindicated.
Imagine how Libya would have looked if Qaddafi had managed to reimpose his regime of terror and madness. The butchery would have been unsparing. His people would have been cast into a darkness more complete than ever. He would have inspired and bankrolled oppressors far and wide.
Libya has taken only its first steps towards a better future, and is sure to falter from time to time. But it is at least heading in the right direction.
The West is beginning to see the democratic success in Libya as an achievement made possible by them, but the possibility of intervention in Syria is still being avoided. Surely the combination of increasing bloodshed in Syria and Libya as a pro-intervention success story will make the West act to remove Assad as they did Gaddafi?
Leave a Reply