[They. Will. Not. Fooor-ce us. They will stop degrading us. They will not control us. We will be victorious - Muse Uprising]
As I write this I am watching the street fighting in Tripoli. I'm watching with great interest too. And the first thing that I notice is the sounds of the fighting.
The sounds are somehow so unlike, and at the same time exactly like the sounds of weapons fired in anger as I remember it. Because, I have actually been in a war-zone - having been near fighting in Turkey with Kurds - and I've felt the weirdly unreal feeling of being near a fire-fight. As I watch I feel I know something of how the BBC reporter on the TV might be feeling herself.
Because it is a curiously unreal feeling. It's not quite something you can process properly when in the moment, and something you take little account of afterwards. I know this would be strange to read unless you have actually been in that sort of situation, but when you hear gun fired in war and you are nearby you don't so much hear the sound, you feel it.
So what does this have to do with Gaddafi, and Libya? Because the reaction to hearing gunfire is very much like my own reaction to the news of the Popular Uprising in Libya. It took me a long time to process the events I seen and for a long time I wasn't sure what I thought about the whole affair. This does not seem to be unique to me either. Whenever I talk to someone about the subject they either do not know or do not care, and only now that the war seems to be coming to an end are people beginning to come to conclusions about the situation in Libya.
So then, why do I support the Uprising? It is mostly because Gaddafi supported a number of terrorist cells across Europe including the IRA. While Gaddafi is not responsible for the situation in Ireland he did make it worse by supporting and funding terrorists. And I suppose it is a little personal, because when I was younger a family friend was killed when working in Ireland just because he was a Protestant. Gaddafi also funded terrorists that bombed a nightclub full of American soldiers in 1986. But it is not just his state sponsoring terrorism, Gaddafi made Libya a dangerous rouge state, and planned a program for building WMDs. And while he did make attempts toward international acceptance and bringing Libya back into the international community, it was too little too late. Gaddafi's Libya could not really be trusted. He was too unpredictable.
This Uprising, however, is different. Because it is a Popular Uprising, as I said before. It is a movement of the Libyan people, and it is a movement already with a government and good relations with it's allies in the UK and the rest of Europe. It even has support from Obama's government, although the U.S. seems to be taking more of a backseat in this conflict. Which I consider a good thing for the U.S. reputation if nothing else, but I digress. This new Uprising is encouraging because it seems to be the result of a new movement in the Middle East. A movement toward freedom, and stronger ties with the West. This popular uprising is also a sign of Libya moving toward something of an ideal. An open government for the people, and effectively by the people. Not by the military, like Gaddafi's regime. Because Gaddafi's regime was extremely militaristic, and seemed to actively try to destable the area around Libya.
Sadly, I've not heard much from a Syria, which seemed to be going in a similar direction to Libya, but if this Uprising can succeed - and it looks like it will, and soon - it would be a positive step toward toward a more open and free Middle East. A Popular victory in Libya could inspire similar pro-Freedom movements across the region, and that is nothing if not a good thing.
This is why I say: Viva la Revolution!
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