In what must be one of the centuries' most brazen, callous, and happily self-destructive performances by a politician. Mahmoud Jibril the de facto Prime Minister of Libya’s Transitional National Council, appointed himself both Prime Minister, and Foreign Minister in a proposed 36-member cabinet he presented last month. (According to the Washington Post, “Libyans wait, and worry, as government delays forming cabinet” 9/27/11).
Jibril is also said to have included friends and relatives among the cabinet he suggested to the TNC. This proposed new cabinet was to rule Libya until resistance by the former regime ceased, and elections could be held, perhaps a year from now, perhaps longer.
While the innocent men, women, and children, of Sirte face starvation and sudden death from roaming gangs of mercenaries of the old regime; while men, and women are dying in the cause of freedom and democracy; while untold fearsome agony awaits the wounded, and the maimed, Mahmoud Jibril allegedly thought only to enrich himself his cronies, and his family.
That this unfathomable outrage took place at this time and thankfully was revealed at this time, allows the people of Libya to consider with the utmost gravity the consequences that men like Jibril could mean to their dreams of freedom and democratic government.
Jibril was absent from Libya for the better part of the last decades. Even when he returned to Libya as the TNC’s titular head he spent a good deal of time abroad. Jibril was reportedly being groomed, and flattered by the various heads of state of countries with a good deal of interest in Libya’s future.
Once, in the very recent past, he was only a struggling academic. Quite suddenly he became a celebrity, a player, on the world’s stage. He was managed, and manipulated by the slick political machines of the Presidents and Prime Ministers, and Premiers he visited. Greeted with fanfare and circus made to feel important.
This theatre of power had the unintended effect of making him feel he was equally entitled, with all the prerogatives, and powers he witnessed those others casually and imperiously exercise.
He is not, and was not. He was simply being paraded about by the west as their new boy in Libya. They convinced him that they needed him to right the wrongs of the vile Al Qathafi regime. They did not and do not need Jibril. He is quite expendable.
Jibril acted as brazenly as he did because he believed he had the full support of the United States, Britain, and France. The heads of state of these nations met with him and permitted, even encouraged, Jibril to assume office.
The office he claimed was not given him through the people’s mandate, nor with their knowledge, or by informed consensus, rather he was self-appointed. He carries no legitimacy beyond this self-aggrandisement.
His power derives only from that granted with the acquiescence, and direction of the western powers, who believed him sufficiently malleable to serve their interests.
The Western world historically has shown very little interest in the sufferings of the Libyan people under Al Qathafi. The West facilitated Al Qathafi’s rule, in one form or another, in order to engage in lucrative business dealings.
The unintended, but most delightful consequence of Jibril’s impertinence has been that he is revealed to have mistakenly believed he could do as he chose and remain unchallenged. According to The Washington Post's report, he must have believed, fully that he could become the new dictator of Libya.
Thankfully members of the current Council prevented that from happening. This gives us hope that there are responsible dedicated members of the council that will not fail to act in the people’s interests. By the looks of it, Jibril must have thought he was about to create a new dynasty.
It appeared, that he was, along with members of his family and his cohorts, affecting a bloodless coup. If so, that belief reveals a fundamental failure to understand the desires of the Libyan people, and pointedly demonstrates his ignorance to grasp the extraordinary courage and will the Libyan people have shown in their desire to be free.
One would expect to be others, dozens of corrupt, venial, men plotting to steal the people’s revolution for their own ends. That cannot be permitted.
Jibril has foresworn any further involvement in a Libyan government. He should remove himself now and return to obscurity. He does however serve as an example to others who would disgrace the sacrifices of so many decent Libyan men and women who have found their worth, and destiny, in a free and open society to be of their own making.
The most dangerous time of the revolution is now. When so much that has been won can be so easily lost. The price of Liberty is eternal vigilance.
Note: On Thursday Mr. Jibril announced he would withdraw from participation in any future Libyan government.
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The Failed Coup In what must be one of the centuries' most brazen, callous, and happily self-destructive performances by a politician. Mahmoud Jibril the de facto Prime Minister of Libya’s Transitional National Council, appointed himself both Prime Minister, and Foreign Minister in a proposed 36-member cabinet he presented last month. (According to the Washington Post, “Libyans wait, and worry, as government delays forming cabinet” 9/27/11).
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