M. Guy Verhofstadt
The man of the
L'homme de l'an
De man van het jaar
A proven Democrat, protector and
fighter for justice and human rights in the World.
Een bewezen Democraat, beschermer en strijder voor rechtvaardigheid
en mensenrechten in de Wereld.
Un prouvé démocrate, protecteur et combattant pour la justice et des
droits de l'homme dans le Mond.
Eine bewährte Demokrat, Beschützer und Kämpfer für Gerechtigkeit und
Menschenrechte in der Welt.
zaštitnik i borac za pravdu i ljudska prava u Svijetu.
M. Barak Hossein Obama
peace in the world
vrede in de wereld
la paix dans le monde
Garantie des Friedens in der Welt
mieru vo svete
mira u svijetu
Fógra tábhachtach Nuacht
International Institute for Middle-East and Balkan Studies (IFIMES)
in Ljubljana, Slovenia, regularly analyses events in the Middle East and
Dr. Anis H.
member of the IFIMES International Institute and professor and
chairperson Intl. Law & Global Pol. Studies at the IMC University of
Applied Sciences, Krems, Austria,
observations on the ongoing Libyan affair and its impact on Africa. The
most interesting sections from the analysis entitled “LIBYA -
UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS OF BEING, AFRICA”
are published below.
Dr. Anis H. Bajrektarević
● Professor and chairperson Intl. Law & Global Pol. Studies at the IMC
University of Applied Sciences, Krems, Austria
● Member of the IFIMES International Institute
LIBYA - UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS OF BEING, AFRICA
Four men leading one man bound
One man whom the four men hound
One man counted bound and led
One man whom the four men dread
If the sunny ‘Arab spring’ day is clouded in Tunisia by the incapability
of domestic forces to turn the popular revolt into viable and badly
needed socio-political reform, and if such a ‘Spring’ in Egypt is
shadowed by the military uniforms and old faces with new rhetorics that
are effectively running the country (jointly with the USAID and IMF),
than the spring skies over Libya are full of pelting rain, across tribal
lines. The inability of (coalition of the willing dressed in) the NATO
to bring about a fast and decisive result in the Libyan episode puts
Russia and China into a very comfortable position – to recapture
initiative and lead moral condemnations on the international scene. (In
the bold demonstration of solidarity ordered by Beijing, the
China’s ambassador accredited to Libya was even walking every morning
all the sites bombed in Tripoli in the night raids.)
Nevertheless, in practical terms there was no real difference between
the affirmative vote on the UN Security Council Resolution 1973 of
France, the UK and the US, and the non-blocking abstention of Russia and
China – both together were needed for the adoption of the resolution and
the rapid intervention that came along. (To complete the puzzle, Brazil
and India – contrary to their vocal anti-Western moralization – also
casted abstentions, not negative votes, on the Resolution.)
The logics of you do not touch Syria (Russia) and you don’t
touch Sudan (China), in exchange for a free upper hand in Libya
presents itself as a seductive guess to the possible grand bargaining of
the P-5 behind closed doors (offering comfort to the question of
discrepancy between the loudly declared and factually committed). Still,
from this short time distance with a lack of conclusive information, it
is a highly speculative hint. Admittedly, up to this writing there has
been no Security Council resolution followed by concrete action to stop
mass and repeated atrocities in either Sudan or Syria. An additional
international legitimacy burden streams & rings: a slow and weak
response on a side of the Libya-intervention eager coalition of the
willing to the colossal humanitarian catastrophe in the East/Horn of
Africa–an outbreak that was mounting since the early spring of 2011 (not
to mention Bahrain and Yemen).
Young generations of Europeans are taught in schools about a singular
entity called the EU. However, as soon as serious security challenges
emerge, the compounding parts of the true, historic Europe are
resurfacing again. Formerly in Iraq (with the exception of France) and
now with Libya; Central Europe is hesitant to act, Atlantic Europe is
eager, Scandinavian Europe is absent, Eastern Europe is bandwagoning,
and Russophonic Europe is opposing.
The 1986 Reagan-led Anglo-American bombing of Libya was a one-time
punitive action. And then for decades nearly nothing happened, as if
everybody was busily reading the Book of Laughter and Forgetting.
But, as the saying goes: ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’, at least not
after 19 March 2011. This time, Libya has been given a different
attachment: The considerable presence of China in Africa, successful
circumventing pipeline deals between Russia and Germany (which will
deprive the Eastern Europe from any transit-related bargaining premium,
and will tacitly pose a joint Russo-German effective pressure on the
Baltic states, Poland and Ukraine), and finally Tunisian and Egyptian,
EU friendly regimes fall –all combined– must have triggered alarm bells
across the Atlantic Europe.
The economically prosperous (the most developed African state and a
provider of solid jobs for many in the region, including Egyptians and
Tunisians – over a million of their guest-workers), but of
socio-politically spent clan-favoritism regime, and jovial leader, Libya
emerged as an easy target. As an advocate of and engine to pan-African
solidarity and unity, Libya was also an appropriate target for the
Atlantic Europe – to pass the simple message: neither Gaddafi (-led
cross-African coalition) nor China (or Indian Navy) can silently fill
the gap after the collapse of the Soviet Union and subsequent loss of
American strategic interest for Africa.
Indeed, the current deployment is the largest Anglo-French military
involvement in the Middle East since their joint occupation of Sinai and
bombardment of Cairo of late 1956 (the so-called Mivtza Kadesh,
tripartite surprise attack on Egypt following the tensions over the
Aswan Dam funding and Nasser’s nationalization of Suez). That time, the
intervention has triggered the unthinkable Cold War’s precedence: By the
joint blocking vote in the UN Sec. Council, the US and Soviets
effectively forced Anglo-French troops to immediate withdrawal. It
marked a It marked a humiliating (beginning of an) end of the
Anglo-French colonial presence in the Middle East and Africa, an opening
of stark rivalries between the Soviets and Americans to fill this gap,
as well as the contemplation of leaders of newly liberated countries
headed by Tito, Nehru, Nasser, Sukarno and Nkrumah to create a unified
front of the Third way - Nonaligned movement.
This time in 2011, it seems that the military intervention after 5
months of uninterrupted air-raids was not bringing any decisive
breakthrough. Therefore, diplomacy has been called for a help. The
are getting recognized as the “Benghazi government” by ever more states.
Still, this la fait accompli offers a very little comfort:
not so long ago, South Vietnam existed, Katanga and DDR too, while
Egyptians and Syrians lived together in the confederation. Taiwan,
internationally recognized, was holding China’s seat in the UN Security
So, what were the strategic objectives of the Anglo-French-led
coalition: (i) to reassert the presence in the Arab world (from Libya to
damage-control the affairs and the Facebook revolution outcome in
the Francophone and Anglophone Maghreb); (ii) to renew presence in
Africa and to slow China there; (iii) to send a bold message of prestige
(glory of colonial past) and strength elsewhere in the world, in
particular to the Central and Russophonic Europe – to essentially
disagree that Russian oil, (geo-) politically and socio-economically, is
the most affordable for (all in) the EU.
How did the Middle East (un-)use its membership in the regional
groupings following the ‘Spring’? Well, the post-Napoleonic’s Alliance
of Eastern Conservative Courts – alike, GCC (backed by its propaganda
arm; Al Jazeera)
was fast and unison, defensive yet decisive and effective on the
peninsula. In the LAS, the GCC was influential and punitive (Libya). The
Arab League was split, indecisive and non-convincing even to itself; but
formally endorsed yet another external intervention against its own
member. (Simultaneously, the LAS has even managed to shift the drafts of
four resolutions on Palestine from its own responsibility, to the agenda
of the 16th NAM Ministerial on Bali in May 2011.) The OIC,
unnoticed in its absence, ‘slept over’ the entire ‘Spring’. The
late-arriving, generalized and cautious words of its Secretary General
were more in line with the official Ankara (as the Gen-Sec. Dr.
İhsanoğlu is Turkish national) then was it representing any formulated
position of the OIC membership.
It is yet another demonstration of inability of the organization without
clear objectives, consensus and vision to be more than a lame
paper-tiger, a fractured conglomerate of the fading cacophony.
The LAS and OIC are on the best way to be remembered as the most
inefficient and incompetent entities ever in the history of regional
Surprisingly, the African Union took though shy and discreet, some
coherent diplomatic actions. The Grouping demonstrated a significant
degree of maturity by avoiding the apparent Gaddafi’s attempt to shield
himself behind the AU, and simultaneously it rested the extern pressures
by acting independently. However, the Libyan affair carries the
multifold message for the AU, both symbolic and practical.
Hence, this message must be particularly painful for the African
continent, and is beyond the issue whether Gaddafi should be condemned
as well as when and what an appropriate condemnation in this respect
should have been. Gaddafi is probably politically dead, but what was
bombed is economically the most successful African state, one of the
very few with the universal education-, health- and housing- access,
consequently of the lowest income gap disparity in the AU. The notion of
state’s inner cohesion and territorial integrity, peace, welfare and
prosperity – so badly needed all over Africa, is collapsing in the
fractured Libya – yet another (possible success turned into a) failed
And most importantly; one of the key questions that kept Europe (its
resources and armies) occupied throughout most of the 19th
and early-mid 20th century was: is it liberal to impose
liberal values on non-liberal societies? (so brilliantly overviewed
in the Kymlicka’s “Multicultural Citizenship” of 1995, and thoroughly
re-debated in the two books of 2004; the Brzezinski’s “The Choice” and
Fukuyama’s “State Building”). Africa for itself seemed to be answering
that very question: if not through the liberation struggle
(anti-colonial movements) of the 1950s-1970s, then surely by the final
end of a notorious Nazi-alike apartheid regime (of a nuclear bomb eager
The way Africa now receives the current Libyan affair; it looks like the
grand dilemma of liberalism is restaged again on their continent. Is any
democracy deliverable by using the non-democratic (externally imposed)
means and who issues the call (also; who controls the call and who
controls the controllers); is justice served by fighting a crime with
the public lynching; is the humanitarian intervention finally launched
only if it presupposes the affirmative military consideration, and other
non-humanitarian objectives? No mistake, for Africa this question
re-emerges and it is far bigger than either Côte d’Ivoire or Libya or
any of their leaders might (ever) be.
If the earlier stated speculative hint seduces us to conclude that while
permitting the Libyan intervention, Russia saves Syria and Iran (to
stabilize its south-west flank) and China saves Sudan (to maintain its
primarily, geo-economically driven presence in Africa), the Anglo-French
coalition, in its acting (besides reasserting the Africa, and
traditionally considering the Mediterranean sea as its inner lake),
shifts the flame from the Maghreb closer to the Izrael-GCC region, than
what is the ratio of the US direct military involvement? Well, the US
role in Libyan episode is primarily to deter any over-projection of the
UK and France, while simulta-neously preserving its strategic status quo
elsewhere in the region. That is hardly to any comfort for the
financially and politically overextended US. Equally, it is of a little
justification for Africa which feels as being largely ignored and
sporadically humiliated in past two decades.
Election of the first US President with the Afro-American roots ever,
was a grand sensation all over the globe. Particularly thrilled, it was
a “forgotten continent” of Africa. To see that the young, liberal,
Democratic president authorizes the military intervention was a shocking
enough, but the fact that his first military deployment targets the
Afro-continent was a disappointing blow for many.
The above stated is not a moralization but the warning. The political
price of the intervention in Libya is and will be far higher for the US
than for the Atlantic Europe.
The US imperatives in Africa and Maghreb were achievable and
maintainable without the intervention in Libya. France and the UK,
particularly in their strategic Francophone and Anglophone Maghreb
neighborhood, were running short on their strategic options. Maghreb was
their failure! Although the blame will be soon reduced and re-directed
–as usual– on Brussels
and the EU Barcelona Process (the Process was anyway gradually eroded
and actually already silently abandoned). Thus, for the Anglo-French
coalition, it was of utmost importance to cool-off Tunisia and Egypt
before Algeria and Morocco get ‘infected’ (and the sudden, eruptive
strategic loss à la 1979 Iran occurs). As the inflammation of
Maghreb progressed, the White House – reluctant and skeptical at first –
was losing any contra-argument to hinder the Anglo-French intervention.
Still, the Obama administration was not keen to let them act alone and
unconstrained, outside the US-dominated (but costs co-sharing) NATO.
However, by busily trying to analyse the outcomes in the Middle East/MENA,
we should not forget the impact of the current crises on Africa.
Although the “forgotten continent” is not loudly voicing it (yet), it
would be foolish to believe that the OIC- and LAS-disillusioned and the
Arab-affairs absent Gaddafi did not manage one thing: to convince the
“black continent” that Libya is in Africa (far more than in the Arab
world), and that although assertively patronizing, Libya was not
ignorant to the chronic problems of the continent. Further on, many in
Africa – for right or wrong – have felt China as a hope (for its
domestic achievements), but also as an opportunity (for its deeds in
Filling the vacuum in Africa (the Atlantic Europe was largely
overextended by the domestic anti-colonial workings, and subsequently
replaced by the two superpowers, until finally the US lost its strategic
interest following the collapse of the Soviet Russia), China silently
but widely entered the “forgotten continent” in last two decades. This
time, African continent was approached by a completely different country
from the economically poor but ideologically aggressive China of the
1950s and 1960s. A cordial, atmospheric pragmatism replaced any
socio-economic or political conditionality; the beneficial direct
investments replaced any ideological lecturing (or the HR/democracy
preaching). Neither the superpowers not the Bretton Woods institutions
have ever treated Africa this way. Despite all the international aid,
Africa was sinking in ever deeper poverty, food scarcity, diseases,
debts and insurgences. Chinese story was so contrasting: a backward,
poor and populous – just as Africa is, China managed to effectively
reform and to uplift as many as 400 million of its citizens from the
poverty (below $1.25/day, 2005 PPP) – all that in just a two decades. An
event, unprecedented in human history, China was not achieving with the
help of the international organizations such as: WHO, FAO, UNICEF, WTO,
IMF or WB, but all that by itself.
By deterring China while reasserting its influence over Africa will not
be a lasting and cost-effective nowadays, if only resting on the power
to coerce without an attraction of the offer, be it of the Anglo-French
dominated Atlantic Europe, the US or Russia.
The old habits die hard! Neither the Al Qaida nor China is of the global
geopolitical and ideological threat of what, once upon a time, was the
The very collapse of communism neither was marked by some wall
erosions in Berlin nor was it the day of the dissolution of the Soviet
For years, a frequent joke all over Russia and the Eastern Europe goes:
“What is worse than the communism? This, what comes after it!” Beijing
has no such a joke. Ergo, the final end of the communism was
coming when (officially determined Marxist-Leninist) China
economically flourished by resting tight on a neo-liberal
mantra. That means: China is predictable and integrated. The
Al Qaida backpackers are predominantly nationals of the states with the
considerable and lasting US presence. As seen, even the home address of
the Saudi Rasputin has been detected. It reads: the Al Qaida
construct is exposed and penetrable. All this, finally, concludes
that both China and Al Qaida are (self-) containable.
The (pre-Gorbachev) Soviet Union was unknown and unpredictable,
socio-economically indigenous and ideologically different, big and
assertive, fortified and impenetrable, nuclear and conventional,
expanding and hardly containable on earth, bottom of the oceans, in air
and in outer space. Past so many years, even Kissinger admits in his
memoirs: “…we never knew…the Soviet Union was a black box for us…”
Ergo, the Cold War jargon is increasingly seen as an outdated and
non-appealing for ever more countries. Most of all, the “good-old”
confrontational Cold War rhetoric neither justifies at home nor it
effectively brings the international legitimacy from abroad for ever
larger number of overseas actions. So, if the dictatum of the
geopolitical imperatives necessitates (continuation of) certain foreign
policy moves, the refreshed and modified wording surrounding them, can
perhaps moderate the political costs.
In the years to come, we will see whether the current African
frustrations were exploited for the geopolitical and geoeconomic ends of
the non-traditional players in Africa (China, India, or
Cuba–Venezuela/Brazil, etc.), and what is the cost-exposure faced by the
So far, we elaborated on Libya from the realistic perspective: Gaddafi
vs. big powers considerations. But, Libya could be analyzed as a
question of (a moral) principle too.
It is not that Libyan government does not deserve the condemnations. The
problem is why not before, and why not a gradual approach!? As if
Gaddafi past so many years has turned over night to the better or to the
worse. Additionally, the pressing question for Africa is why elsewhere
the international actions are ranging from inappropriate and
disappointing (overly slow or too fast), asymmetric and
disproportionate, to nonexistent and disastrous. And why, as I noted
before, the notion of state’s inner cohesion, prosperity, territorial
integrity and peace – so badly needed all over Africa, is collapsing in
the fractured and partitioned Libya.
The Middle East, but especially Africa should not be left with the
feeling that it is a message of macht politik – either silently
bandwagon (with any of the P-5 who will in return shield you, whatever
you do) or you will risk the military intervention, whatever you do.
Admittedly, there is a third way – to go nuclear! To develop a secret
nuclear program, than to walk to the Atomic Energy Agency one day and
renounce the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) applicability; and the first
next day to test your nuke. Your regime would face a lot of worldwide
condemnations, the international community would issue serious warnings
about an imminent invasion of your country, but soon they will occupy
the non-nuclear (and a not-enough bandwagoing) Iraq instead. If Iraq is
not available than Grenada, Haiti, Ivory Coast and the like, may serve
the purpose well. Is that the message we want to send?!
To give such a blow to the multilateralism and to the nuclear
non-proliferation system, no short-term objective is a match. We need
principles and accorded actions as this is the only way to tackle the
grave problems of this planet. We are lacking the elementary consensus
in the Bretton Woods institutions, on the WTO DDR trade round, on a
nuclear non-proliferation, on the post-Kyoto negotiations, and finally
on the alarming state of environment. Ergo, on a global scale we
fundamentally disagree on realities of this planet and the ways we can
I am neither moralizing nor idealizing. The world based on agreed
principles and com- monly willing action is not a better place. It is
the only way for human race to survive.
Already some years ago, I noted in my writings (and for a decade in my
lectures) that the confrontational nostalgia and academic inertia keeps
recycling the Cold-War retorics, although the Soviet Union has
disappeared from the geopolitical map over two daces ago. Hence, if
these practitioners and thinkers are so fascinated with the simplified
either with us, or against us logics - let's then keep it!
Adjusted to reflect our today's realities (or as the grand Wiz of the EU,
Jacques Monet used to say: if you have an unsolvable dilemma -
enlarge the context), it would state as follows: either your
socio-economic and politico-military policies and practices are for this
planet and a very survival of human race or you are against the planet
and every form of life inhabiting it. What we have witnessed in
Libya is rather disturbing: as if the confrontational nostalgia,
perpetuated by the intense competition over finite resources, in lieu of
a real, far-reaching policy-making has prevailed again.
We falsely believed, all through the 20th century, that the
nuclear holocaust will put an end to the entire human race. No! It will
be a slow, nearly-unnoticed, gradual but steady construction of the
global gas chamber (filled by the green-house gas emissions). The way we
extract, produce, transport, distribute and consume, the way we keep all
this running on a blind obedience to the hydrocarbons, and finally the
way how we do reflect and contemplate on all that, inevitably takes us
right into the environmental holocaust.
Has the human race already passed the point of no return of its
survival? Frankly, we do not know! Very sincerely, we do not care!! In
every OECD country, an ordinary carpenter is far more paid then the
university professor or the hospital doctor with the high medical
specialization. Per average, the bank clerk (with under-Matura level) of
any banking entity in the EU states earns 14 to 16 salaries annually
(basically, creating no new value to the society), but nearly –per
definition– protected by a life-long employment contract. At the same
time, the majority of the EU double PhD top researchers (per definition,
creating a new value for the society) have considerably lower income,
and many of them are happy just to win 2 to 5 years research contract
with the murky hope that the funding might be extended. Nearly all
football players in the European Premier League as well as the
Formula I drivers (essentially the modern age gladiators) have higher
yearly incomes than the many key research institutes in the OECD states
can afford annually to spend. Besides the superficial entertainment
(enveloped by the ovations of masses, on a brink of collective orgasm
à la Mussolini parades), it is actually a triumph of brutal
competition or competing brutality (football) and a massive exhaustion
of the hydrocarbons (Formula I) – what the added value do they create!?
Some may contra-argue by stating that the present-day football
celebrates the sports and a healthy life though the triumph of the
physical strength of a sportsman. The Antique Greece has celebrated its
athletes, and nearly worshiped the contesters and winners of the Games
paying a tribute to the all-mighty Olympus. Equally, the old Greeks
largely encouraged and celebrated, promoted and (financially) supported
its philosophers and scientists. It was the age when the consciousness
blossomed, wisdom flourished and knowledge triumphed – the theoretical
basis of all essential technological breakthroughs, that occurred in the
course of subsequent centuries up to nowadays, are in fact originating
from the Ancient Eagan world. Ergo, the Classic times knew about the
important equilibrium between an intellect and human body. Modern Age
has forgotten, disregarded, abandoned and tacitly ridiculed this wisdom.
Irrespective of our falsely placed priorities (and passionately
sustained craving to re-channel and discourage, to derail and denounce
any serious debate, far too often by hiding behind the superficial
entertainment), of our obscure and encouraged greed and incompetence, of
all our residual ignorance and arrogance, and of our paramount and loud
anti-Intellectualism, the REAL facts are immitigable and are
There is no single peer-reviewed international journal that has
published even one scientific article in last 30 years which reports on
factual evidences that any organic (marine and conti- nental biota) or
inorganic (soil, glaciers, water, polar caps, etc) system is doing
better on this planet. There is no single RE or the UN report in last 30
years that credibly denies a worrying increase in severity and frequency
of “natural” catastrophes worldwide. Finally, there is no single
internationally recognized medical journal that does not constantly for
the last 30 years report on an alarming increase in skin-cancers,
respiratory and allergy related diseases.
We are drifting, dissolving and retreating on all levels and within each
and every organic or inorganic system.
For the grave, burning planetary problems, our human race needs an
urgent and lasting, the consensus which presupposes bravery, virtue,
vision and creativity. All this will not result from a fear of coercion,
or from the further military (nuclear) confrontations, but from the
universally shared willingness to accord our common planetary cause.
(1984) “Unbearable Lightness of Being”, and (1979) “Book
of Laughter and Forgetting”, Bibliothèque Gallimard
Dizdar, M. (1971) “Stone Sleeper”, Svjetlost
The UN Security Council Resolution 1970 (S/RES/1970 /2011/ of
February 26, 2011), and the UN Security Council Resolution 1973 (S/RES/1973
/2011/ of March 17, 2011)
Bajrektarevic, A. (2011) “No Asian century without the pan-Asian
Institution” Post Script THC, Jakarta 8:3
Kirkpatrick, D. (2010) “The Facebook Effect”, Simon & Schuster
The UN Development Program: Human Development Report 2010
(IHD Index, Poverty and Inequality);
The GCC Secretariat General: 21st EU-GCC Joint Council
and Ministerial Meeting, UAE/Abu Dhabi, 20 APR 11
The LAS Communiqué of March 12, 2011 (the Omani Foreign Minister
announcing that the LAS has officially requested the UN SC to impose a
no-fly zone over Libya)
Statements of the OIC Secretary General on Libya (Jeddah, 08
March; London, 29 March; 15 July), and the Astana Ministerial
(Kazakhstan, Astana 28–30 June);
The AU Peace and Security Council Decision on situation in Libya
(of 23 February and of 10 March), the AU Ministerial-level PSC Decision
on Libya of 26 April, and the Peace and Security Commissioner’s briefing
of the AU PSC of 13 July 2011;
Kymlicka, W. (1995) “Multicultural Citizenship”, Oxford
Brzezinski, Z. (2004) “The Choice”, Basic Books (Perseus)
Fukuyama, F. (2004) “State Building”, NY Cornell University
Kissinger, H. (1999) “Years of Renewal”, Touchstone-
The World Bank – World Poverty Index, (2005 PPP), Statistics:
1990 – 2010;
Risk Evaluating and Standardizing Target Accumulations), CRESTA – Swiss
RE 2010 Report on Future Zoning Approach
By busily trying to analyse the outcomes of the revolts all over the
Middle East/MENA theatre, we should not forget the impact of the current
crises on Africa. Although the “forgotten continent” is not loudly
voicing it (yet), it would be foolish to believe that the OIC and
LAS-disillusioned, and the Arab-affairs absent Gaddafi did not manage
one thing: to convince the “black continent” that Libya is in Africa
(far more than in the Arab world), and that although assertively
patronizing, Libya was not ignorant to the chronic problems of the
continent. Further on, many in Africa – for right or wrong – have felt
China as a hope (for its domestic achievements), but also as an
opportunity (for its deeds in Africa).
Effectively deterring China while reasserting its influence over Africa
will not be a lasting and cost-effective nowadays, if only resting on
the power to coerce without an attraction of the offer, be it for the
Anglo-French dominated Atlantic Europe, the US or Russia.
Finally, for the grave planetary problems, the international community
needs a speed and the lasting consensus. This will not result from a
fear of coercion, or from the further military (nuclear) confrontations,
but from the universally shared willingness to accept our common
Middle East/MENA, Libya, Military Intervention, International Legal
System, Diplomacy, UN SC, GCC, LAS, OIC, African Union, China, Intl.
Legitimacy, Grand Dilemma of (post-) Modernity, Social revolt,
Distributive Justice, Inequalities, Disparities, Common Cause
Ljubljana, 27 August 2011
International Institute for Middle-East and
Balkan Studies (IFIMES) – Ljubljana
Bakhtyar Aljaf Zijad Bećirović
This Article was published by
publishers, New York, August 2011, (CRLSJ 3:1).
The title itself paraphrases the name of a famous book:
Unbearable Lightness of Being published in 1984 by one of the
greatest Czech writers – Milan Kundera.
Mak - Mehmedalija Dizdar, Bosnian poet of the modern generation. The
quotation is actually an ending part of his poem: "A Note about the
Five" (trans. Francis R. Jones), from his "Stone Sleeper" poetry
From January 2011 up to this writing (late August 2011), the UN
Security Council has adopted as many as 37 resolutions. Out of this
total number, only 12 resolutions were dealing with the non-Africa
related issues (just 2 resolutions were dealing with the Middle
East, 7 about Côte d’Ivore and 6 about Sudan).
This is the title of yet another famous book that Milan Kundera
wrote about social amnesia (published in 1979).
The rebels’ authority is predominantly composed of the Gaddafi’s
inner circle defectors – many of them of a very questionable
ethical, political culture and democracy, human rights and
humanitarian law score.
Indeed, in years to come, all countries surrounding the EU block
will revert with some critical questions. To end this, the EU Member
States will need an extra diligent effort for the credibility damage
assessment to its idyllic-advertized good neighborly (‘unegoistic’,
‘dynamic’ ‘successful and mutually beneficial’) engagement that
offers everything but institutions, from Morocco to Russia,
usually referred to as the European Neighborhood Policy.
It is usually portrayed by the picture of Muscovite handing over the
Russian flag to the Soviet tank crew in August of 1991.
While talking about Kissinger; the big irony is that “his
president”, a rightist Republican, deeply hated at home and abroad,
‘hard-core’ Nixon has essentially closed the colossal suffering
called the Vietnam war (opening the era of détente) which a
decade earlier the universally beloved, ‘leftist’, young tolerant
Democrat, President Kennedy has essentially escalated beyond the
point of return (after the French withdrawal).
World Security Network reporting from London in the United
Kingdom, August 24, 2011
Dear Cavkic Salih,
"Do not just correct Libya's rotten system
step by step but make a clear cut with the past and a large
leap into the future based on radical reforms from the
beginning, quick privatization, minimum national debt, and a
strong, new currency."
a few months a long-serving dictator was ousted by his people with
the strong support of NATO. Now it is time to look for the right
decisions for the future of Libya and to focus on taking the first
Here my 17 points of an action plan for a better future in Libya:
1. Do not just correct the rotten system step by step but make a
clear cut with the past and a large leap into the future. This had
been done very successfully in Estonia 20 years ago - a best
practice example to copy. According to the
experience of Estonia's freedom hero
Tunne Kelam, for Libya this
- radical reforms from the beginning
- quick privatization
- a national debt limited to the minimum
- a strong new currency best coupled to the euro-zone.
A reform team should analyse and copy the best practices from
2. Build up a brand new tourist industry as it will bring many new
jobs and open the country.
3. Education is key, including learning English and French with a
focus on the study of traditional Islam, the UN Charter and
democracy (a little like in Germany after the end of the
Nazi-dictatorship starting in 1945).
4. Radical reform of the bureaucracy which otherwise will delay or
inhibit all new initiatives.
5. Collect the stolen national fortune of the Gaddafi clan,
estimated by a former Libyan Energy minister at more than USD 200bn,
by asking an expert foreign company like
K2 Global Consulting
to look after it and report everything openly to the public. The
frozen money on Western bank accounts must be released within the
next two months. Until then some countries like Qatar, France or
Germany can give the new government credit secured by those stolen
money accounts in the range of USD 10bn. The process of those large
money transfers must be made transparent to avoid corruption cases.
6. Make all income from oil and gas transparent for the first time
and collect the national wealth in new Libyan Investment Funds. Copy
the best examples from Singapore (Tamasek
with international auditing by
or other firms. Report everything online.
7. Copy the best incentive systems globally for investors and give
them a tax-free period of ten years, followed by only 15 percent tax
afterwards, and for each dollar invested add two more as debt
finance to stimulate the transfer of know-how and the creation of
new jobs asap.
8. Form investment councils with the EU and special states as well
as with the US, Japan and China.
9. Avoid large international donors and conferences with big names
attached. These often sound good but delay immediate chances and are
too vague in the actions taken as was seen in Iraq and Afghanistan
for ten years. They produce more smoke than clear visions.
10. The EU and the US as well as Asian countries should open their
markets for ten years for all products from North Africa like fruits
and textiles to stimulate growth and jobs.
11. Libya in this transformation process must become more
independent from its oil income which is ultimately like cocaine for
such states. They subsidies too much for the masses and neglect the
establishment of a balanced and healthy mix in the economy which is
the only way to create jobs and long-term stability.
12. The country could now pre-sell its oil in an amount of perhaps
USD 100bn to the EU, the US, China and Japan as oil reserves with a
good discount and get in return cash in advance for reconstruction
within the next few months.
13. End corruption by clear and simple laws and actions from this
point forward to prevent more billions being stolen from the people.
14. Transfer Gaddafi, his sons and the former head of intelligence
to the International Court of Justice.
15. Pay all heroes of the fighting, their relatives and the wounded
a national donation for their sacrifices.
16. Invite a National Convention involving all tribes and groups to
agree to a new constitution within 12 months with the UN Charter,
the French and Turkish constitutions serving as benchmarks. Libya
needs a modern and fundamental law protecting freedom and a balanced
division of power soon. A referendum should follow and only
thereafter free elections for the parliament in September 2012.
Elections, when held too early, are no good as the people must first
get know the new faces, parties and directions.
17. Agree on a national pardon for all officials of Gaddafi if they
are not involved in murder or large corruption cases. Do not repeat
the mistake of Iraq which ousted all officials of the Baath party
and stripped the country of a functional administration.
Lots to do - but other countries have successfully done it with a
fresh approach in the last 20 years. And Libya has a lot of
carbon-money to invest.
Dr. Hubertus Hoffmann
President and Founder
World Security Network Foundation
World Security Network reporting from London in the United Kingdom,
August 19, 2011
Dear Cavkic Salih,
Not more words but innovative actions are needed now in
Syria: "Establish a "Syrian Centre for the Registration of Crimes
against Humanity" – where prosecuters can collect evidence of crimes and
murder and victims report them to the staff. Form a "Free Syrian
Parliament in Exile" which will have representatives from all different
ethnic groups, religions and political groups in discussion together.”
The continuation of the killing of more than 1000 civilians in Syria by dictator
Bashar al-Assad must now be answered by innovative actions by the Arab states
and the West.
Words are not enough anymore, he does not listen to them.
The UN Security Council is blocked by the interests of two veto-members: Russia
wants to sell more arms to Syria and China block any protest by all means as
done in Beijing in 1989, when over 1000 Chinese citizens were killed.
My proposals are:
Establish a "Syrian Centre for the Registration of Crimes against Humanity"
- preferably in The Hague or Istanbul, Geneva or Berlin.
Prosecuters can collect evidence of crimes and murder. Victims can report them
to the staff.
This has been successfully done by the German "Zentrale
Erfassungsstelle Salzgitter" which for decades collected 42.000 pieces of
evidence of crimes against Germans in the East German dictatorship (GDR).
Form a "Free Syrian Parliament in Exile", preferably in Istanbul, which
will have representatives from all different ethnic groups, religions and
political groups in discussion together. Collect signatures of Syrians to
promote this free assembly.
This has been done very successfully in Estonia where
Tunne Kelam, Member of the International Advisory Board of WSN, and now a
member of the EU Parliament, and the freedom heroes of his small Baltic country
- which was forced into the USSR in 1940 - established the
Congress of Estonia in 1990 where 499 delegates from 31 political parties
were represented, including the ruling communists .
The permanent standing committee of the Congress of Estonia - the Committee of
Estonia (Eesti Komitee) - was chaired by Tunne Kelam.
The Free Syrian Parliament as a first step should debate and agree on a modern
constitution along the lines of the UN Charter protecting the freedoms of the
people and promote religious and ethnic respect and tolerance.
Charter of United Nations it says:
“We, the people of the United Nations determined to save succeeding generations
from the scourge of war,… to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the
dignity and worth of the human being, … and for these ends, to practice
tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbours.”
In 1945, the founders of the United Nations saw tolerance as a key to the
peaceful coexistence of the people of the world.
The UNESCO in its
Declaration of Principles on Tolerance in 1995 stated:
“Tolerance recognizes the universal human rights and fundamental freedom of
According to the UN and international law, universal human rights include:
Freedom of speech, opinion, the press and religion.
Societies like the dictatorship in Syria that disregard these universal human
rights present present a threat to their own people as well as other countries,
as in Lebanon where the Syrian Secret Service was involved in the killing of
President Hariri in 2005.
These actions should be funded by the EU and the US and must start soon.
Dr. Hubertus Hoffmann
President and Founder
World Security Network Foundation
Dear Cavkic Salih,
World Security Network reporting from tribal areas (FATA) in
Pakstan , August 18, 2011
Habib Malik Orakzai,
Chairman of the
Mutahida Qabail Party (MQP) and President of
Pakinstan's International Human Rights Organization (PIHRO):
"There are b feelings all around the
Muslim world that Afghanistan is under deadly
occupation. As those installed by the US - including
Karzai - have no legitimacy, the writ of the
"government" is nowhere prevalent beyond the "city
state" of Kabul. America and NATO have now realized that
they should talk to Taliban but there seems to be no
quick way out. The way out has to be found. One can
argue that the FATA situation will hardly stabilize
unless the occupying forces get out of Afghanistan."
Habib Malik Orakzai is the Founder and Chairman of
Mutahidda Qabail Party (MQP), the first political party to
represent and serve the tribal people of the Federally
Adminstered Tribal Areas (FATA) in Pakistan next to Afghanistan,
and President of
Pakistan's International Human Rights Organization (PIHRO).
He is also a member of the
Advisory Board of the
World Security Network Foundation (WSN). In his discussion
Dr. Hubertus Hoffmann, President of WSN, he explores the
current situation of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas
(FATA) in Pakistan and talks about prospects for Afghanistan.
Hubertus Hoffmann: How dangerous is the situation now in
Pakistan’s tribal areas (FATA)?
Habib Malik Orakzai: Pakistan's Federally Administered
Tribal Areas (FATA) had been peaceful before 9/11. The ongoing
insurgency is not a local phenomenon; rather things have spilled
over into Pakistan from across its Western borders where
American and Allied Forces have drastically failed in achieving
any of their stated targets. NATO and America have been
launching military operations without informing Pakistani
authorities and this has resulted in foreign militants being
pushed into Pakistani areas. Agreements with militants that
could ensure peace in the area were sabotaged with airstrikes
and propaganda - resulting in expansion of the militancy. Youth
of the area are fast in joining the militants, which is one of
the reasons that FATA is underdeveloped, with scarce social
services and virtually no job opportunities, despite the
territory having vast potential for development, particularly in
the mineral sector. For immediate and long-term peace and
development in the region, dialogue should precede military
action. National strategy about the "War on Terror" itself needs
a review and the development potential of FATA needs to be
exploited. Today, FATA is being labeled as a cause and center of
militancy by many, not only in Pakistan but in the entire
region. While the Afghan government and the international
community is blaming Pakistan for providing a safe haven to
militants in its tribal belt, the government of Pakistan
believes that the growing number of suicide attacks and other
violent incidents have their roots in this area. Meanwhile, the
people of FATA feel that they are being subjected to killings
and forcible displacements not only by the US and NATO forces
but by the Pakistani army and the militant groups as well. While
the international community and global media are describing FATA
as the cause of instability in the region, most people in the
country and even outside believe otherwise; that is, it is
basically the consequence of the presence of foreign forces in
Afghanistan. Pakistan has deployed 100,000 troops to the border
area to control cross border militancy; however, the Afghan
government is not taking serious action for stopping the
militants from Afghanistan to carry out terrorist activities in
border areas of Pakistan.
Due to ongoing War on Terror (WoT) in Kurram Agency, thousands
of local and innocent residents also suffer and are forced to
live in miserable conditions. Similarly the drone attacks are
also increasing militancy in the area.
Hubertus Hoffmann: What do the people in FATA need most?
Habib Malik Orakzai: The population of FATA is 6.7
million and the most important thing is to understand the entire
situation properly. Seeing FATA in isolation and not in the
context of the Afghan war would not lead us to the right
conclusions. One has to have a comprehensive approach; FATA is
not to be separated from the big picture as doing so will only
lead to superficial results. A comprehensive approach means
addressing the problem regionally with the aim of resolving this
problem in Afghanistan, FATA and the rest of Pakistan.
Democracy and institutions need to be strengthened and
encouraged and political solutions have to be found. Pushing
Pakistan to "do more" will only destabilize the country. For
FATA, the most important step is to bring the area into national
mainstream. Administrative and political problems of FATA need
to be resolved; particularly the colonial system of
administration needs to be reorganized.
Substantial socioeconomic developments are needed at this time.
Sustainable Development Plan needs to be supported. Top priority
has to be given to education and especially the deficiency of
teachers must be dealt with immediately. Job opportunities for
the youth of the area should be created. The potential of
mineral sector awaits exploration.
Military operations should be launched against specific targets
but only on the information of credible intelligence sources in
order to avoid collateral damage and alienating the people. Air
strikes/drone attacks are not favored at all, whether from
outside or within the country, as these only alienate the people
and cause tremendous damage.
Dialogue needs to be encouraged. Tribesmen should be taken
onboard as their support is required. Talks should also be held
with the militants in a meaningful manner. In this connection,
Pakistan needs to take independent decisions and resist pressure
Hubertus Hoffmann: How many of the people are radicals and
how many Taliban or terrorists are there?
Habib Malik Orakzai: Mainly there are two types of
militants present in the area: the Taliban and al-Qaida. It is
important to differentiate between Taliban and Al-Qaeda as in
the definitions of Americans and the allies both are placed
together. Though Al-Qaeda was identified as masterminding 9/11,
it had nothing to do with Taliban. There is no doubt about the
fact that Osama bin Laden, at that time, was residing in
Afghanistan and the then Taliban regime provided him shelter.
But it does not mean that they played a role in whatever
happened on 9/11. None of the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks
were Afghans or Pakistanis. The problem lies here and it is not
appropriate for Pakistan to alienate the Taliban. It is not
being suggested here that all the Taliban should be protected
but they should at least be considered as stakeholders. This
step is necessary for any future stability in Afghanistan.
Trying to eliminate resistance indiscriminately is not going to
solve the problem.
Al-Qaeda is an international organization or a group with its
own objective. Taliban, on the other hand, are local - a
regional entity - and have to be seen as such. Pakistan should
not take foreign pressure for dealing with the Taliban. However,
within the Taliban there may be some hardliners and miscreants
and they need to be identified and dealt with accordingly. The
extremists are not in the majority to cope with but the issue is
Hubertus Hoffmann: How important is education for the young
"The main reason behind the
situation in FATA is lack of education; hence, you can
understand the importance of education."
Habib Malik Orakzai: Education is of great importance and
it plays a pivotal role in development. Young generation is our
future; hence, it is our duty to provide them with quality
education. The main reason behind the situation in FATA is lack
of education; hence, you can understand the importance of
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the World
Security Network (WSN) for
offering scholarships to the young students from FATA.
However, I would like to request donors and other organizations
to provide special scholarships to the talented students from
Hubertus Hoffmann: Please tell us about your new FATA party,
what are your aims and how to reach it?
Habib Malik Orakzai: Mutahidda Qabail Party (MQP) is a
newly launched party struggling for the fundamental and
political rights of the residents of FATA, who have been
deprived since Pakistan came into being. The party is launched
to initiate struggle for:
- Restoration of Peace in Tribal Areas
- Attainment of Basic Human Rights of tribesmen and tribeswomen
- Economic & Social Development of the area
- Extension of Laws to FATA
- Declare FATA as a Separate province. “Since the inception of
the country successive governments have never bothered to give
due rights to tribesmen. The huge funds allocated for uplift of
Fata have also not been spent on development of the neglected
Being the first political party for the people of FATA we are
welcomed by the locality and they are joining our party. I am
sure that in the next election MQP will play its role for the
people of tribal areas and win victory over corrupt and selfish
Hubertus Hoffmann: What can the Arab World or the U.S. and
Europe do to help and improve the situation in FATA?
Habib Malik Orakzai: International community should give
proper attention to the tribal areas of Pakistan despite
negligence. Development works should be started with immediate
effect and locality should be involved in the development
process. Special focus should be given to education and
institutions should be constructed at agency level. Employment
opportunities should be provided to the residents of tribal
areas of Pakistan on equality basis.
Hubertus Hoffmann: What does your peace-concept for
Afghanistan - including the important interests of Pakistan -
Habib Malik Orakzai: To understand the situation in FATA,
it is important to have a look at where Afghanistan stands
today. Statistics and indicators are worrisome. Poppy economy is
estimated at some five billion dollars and it is alleged that
everybody including the government functionaries, from top to
bottom, are involved. 93-95% of the world’s heroin is produced
in and exported from Afghanistan. The country (Afghanistan)
stands at 174 out of 178 countries in the UNDP Human Development
Index, for a population of only 30 million, which is less than
NWFP. While all the money promised to Afghanistan did not
materialize, still billions of dollars, have come - US $15
billion against the promised $25 billion. The question is mind
boggling: where have these billions of dollars given to the
country as reconstruction aid gone? The only notable development
is in the form of rebuilt strategic roads - with the main
purpose of enabling the troops to move around.
In terms of corruption, Afghanistan stands among the top ten
most corrupt nations in the world today. There are indications
that corruption is now deeply rooted in the present day Afghan
system. Unfortunately, people at the top are also not free from
this malaise as the latest reports allege that those at the helm
of affairs are involved as well. So while looking at the
troubles that FATA is caught in today, one has to keep in view
the situation next door. However, it is not the Afghan state
that has failed, but it is the failure of the system that has
been in place as a result of US intervention.
Enough blood has been shed in the name of 9/11 and collateral
damage still continues in Afghanistan. It is well documented
that Americans had planned to topple the Taliban regime using
various means - including some of the neighboring countries -
around September-October of 2001. Even if there was no 9/11
there would have been a major international intervention in
Afghanistan in one form or another. While the intervention was
made and it continues, it is not clear what really are its
parameters and goals.
Now there are b feelings all around the Muslim world that
Afghanistan is under deadly occupation. If a free and fair
opinion is taken in Afghanistan, some 95% of the Pushtoons and a
large number of Uzbeks, Tajiks and other ethnic groups of the
country would say that they do not want the presence of America,
NATO and the rest. While they may not say so in public, even
people at the top including ministers, members of the parliament
Loya Jirga are increasingly becoming wary of the
prolonged occupation. Even those who are apparently working with
the administration in Kabul are only doing so for the sake of
survival. Instances have been witnessed where one brother is
working in the Afghan army and the other with the Taliban. As
those installed by the US - including Karzai - have no
legitimacy, the writ of the "government" is nowhere prevalent
beyond the "city state" of Kabul.
America and NATO have now realized that they should talk to
Taliban but there seems no quick way out. The way out has to be
found. One can argue that the FATA situation will hardly
stabilize unless the occupying forces get out of Afghanistan.
Pakistani officials and scholars are absolutely right when they
recall the historical facts about several thousand nationals
from different countries coming to Afghanistan and Pakistan
during the war against the former Soviet Union and how these
people then remained in the region even after the Soviet
withdrawal. The irony is that the majority of them truly
believed that they were coming to defend Islam and to conduct a
holy war. Everyone knows all that happened then and how many of
these foreign nationals remained in the region, assimilated with
the locals, got married and continue to live here.
Pakistan today finds itself at a very critical moment in
history. It is time to realize the need for change in the
policies being followed regarding the War on Terror as the
present ones need to be discontinued and then work out a
It is, therefore, very important to make an objective balance
sheet of what has been achieved through our participation in the
American-led war on terrorism and of all that we have lost.
Today, Pakistan is encircled by all sorts of enemies and
conspiracies and it is time that we put our heads together. A
new US administration is about to take office and despite so
many depressing past experiences it is important that meaningful
input from intellectuals and policy makers in Pakistan is
presented and shared with the US policy makers so the two
countries can work together for a genuine and durable peace in
our country and in Afghanistan.
Dr. Hubertus Hoffmann
President and Founder
World Security Network Foundation
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