WARNING: I don’t spell check. Or even re-read late night rants written in frustration. So, yeeah…
Yawn. Six months later and we still care about tribes? It’s cute, I mean, the guy briefly mentions other plausible, more ‘rational,’ reasons for Younes’ death & the mystery that surrounds it, but then spends an entire paragraphic questioning possible (not really) tribal connections?
Is it so difficult to believe that Middle Eastern politics are driven by the same shit that underscores, IDK, the rest of the world? Surely they have greater worries than a system that has lost virtually all political relevance? Orientalist nightmare if there ever was one.
They could shout ONE LIBYA ’till they’re blue in the face (which they do), but these pseudo-sociologists/historians/political analysts/anthropologists masquerading as professional, informed journalists will see only what they want to see - some escapist fantasy of a tribal land regressing into its true, “natural” state as it untangles itself from the all mighty, unifying fist of Gaddafi’s ‘modern’ oil regime. Oooooh let’s watch tribal warfare destroy the struggling nation! Spare. Me. *
I also love the exaggerations. His tribal peeps shot at the hotel with “rifle fire” I am pretty damn sure eye witnesses said TWO people tries to enter the hotel after the press conference and were detained. Also pretty sure they were just family members, but why use such modernist language to describe a clearly backward society?** Let’s not mention his relative’s own quasi-press release today, in which he proclaimed the family’s ongoing commitment to the revolution (he was reading from a letter, planned & all). But of course, why mention something broadcasted on television when you can relay unverified gossip — which BTW Libyans are notorious for (we all know it’s true - ask your mom’s nephew’s wife’s brother.)
The author’s analyses of baseless speculation does, however, make him/her a prime candidate for the Free Libya FB group.
As for the article’s comments…we will add them to the list of reasons to weep for humanity. For shame, compatriots, for shame..
*Seriously, have you ever seen more than two sentences explaining the importance of tribes in Libyan society? About why they will lead to inevitable confrontation in Gaddafi’s aftermath? About how they have somehow managed to remain such a strong, powerful social force despite Gaddafi’s absolutist hold over society? If you have, it’s orientalist, ahistorical bullshit. It’s more likely that you haven’t though, because making up all that shit takes more time than spewing out vague conventional understandings of Libyan society.
**Yes, I speculated to contradict a speculation.The fact that we’re both speculating means the original statement should never have appeared as if it were fact in the article. I get more leeway because I’m the farthest thing from a professional. Also, I’m Libyan, so I mean, obviously I’m more likely to be right. Obviously. (Seriously though, the source was at the hotel. I chose to believe him over this M.S. character & his copy/pasting from initial AP/Reuters reports)
Bad news from Benghazi
Jul 29th 2011, 10:15 by M.S.
THE murder of General Abdel Fatah Younes in still largely unexplained circumstances is the worst possible news for those Western governments, such as Britain’s and America’s, that have just taken the step of recognising the rebel Transitional National Council (TNC) as the sole legitimate representative of the Libyan people. It appears that General Younes, the commander of the rebel forces and a former interior minister in the regime of Muammar Qaddafi who defected in February, was recalled to Benghazi from the eastern front near the oil town of Brega to answer charges of negotiating secretly with Tripoli. Three hours after his supposed arrival in Benghazi, the head of the TNC, Mustafa Abdel Jalil, another former minister, announced his death and that of two other officers at the hands of an armed gang, at least one of whose members had been arrested. As news of the killing spread, forces loyal to General Younes, mainly from his Obeidi tribe, began heading for Benghazi, while other fellow tribesman began spraying the hotel from where Mr Jalil had made the announcement with automatic rifle fire.
General Younes had been from the moment of his defection an ambiguous figure for many in the rebel camp who doubted whether he had really burnt his bridges with his old ministerial chums and the Qaddafi family. In April, the Colonel’s daughter, Aisha, suggested in a television interview that one member of the TNC’s ruling council was still loyal to her father. She refused to rule out speculation that this was General Younes. There was also tension between General Younes and Khalifa Haftar, a former army officer who also claimed to be the leader of the rebel military forces, which had contributed to the dysfunctionality of the military effort in the east.
The death of General Younes raises a number of tricky questions for the TNC and its supporters in the international community. If General Younes was indeed attempting to negotiate a settlement with the regime in Tripoli, was he freelancing or doing it with the blessing of at least some other members of the TNC? Mr Jalil recently raised the possibility that Colonel Qaddafi might be allowed to remain in Libya, though not in power, as part of a peace deal, only to be quickly contradicted by some of his colleagues. To what extent was the murder of General Younes motivated by tribal rivalries? The TNC has determinedly stressed that its goal of a democratic Libya ruled by law transcended tribal bickering. But as the prospect of negotiated settlement looms larger and with it the way in which the country’s resources, especially its oil, may be divvied up, the potential for tribal factionalism to rear its head is there. More immediately, with the onset of Ramadan next week, what does the removal of General Younes from the scene mean for the attempt to break the military stalemate in the east? Should the forces there begin to splinter, the outlook could quickly change for the worse.
So far, there are more questions than answers, but General Younes’s death is an ominous precedent.