24 August 2011

To the beaches of Tripoli (or Misrata)

When a friend tweeted, encouraging me to sign a petition calling for a broad ranging inquiry into Australian media, I realised I had not looked at the news for quite a while and began exploring the biggest issue of the day and pondering the macchinations of the media.

Poetry and photos again soon I promise...

History will be written by the victors or at least those who own the media.

But the proxy war we see via media announcements does not have a zero death count.

Trying to find out what is going on in Libya is undeniably difficult if you live on the other side of the world, don't have a dedicated research team or an intelligence agency at your disposal.

After reading this piece called The Big Gaddafi, I watched some Al-Jazeera Live in an effort to discover what was actually happening. Their broadcast had to make do with 30 seconds worth of footage of 50 or so men in a dark square, ubiquitous AK47's pointed heavenwards, (what happens to all those bullets fired into the air?), chanting, "Allāhu Akbar". It usually does the trick. On five minute repeat. Nobody knows what is going on, amidst endless speculation.

I watch an Al Jazeera reporter roadside in Tripoli, city outskirts, a freeway somewhere, talking live. Everytime a vehicle drives by on the mostly empty road, I flinch, hoping she is not about to be shot. Is she thinking the same? But it looks like normal cars. Towards the end of the broadcast a Toyota utility drives off in the wrong direction, but there are no gunmen in back.

Reporters inside the Rixos Hotel tell what it was like.

Eleven hours or so into "the fall", the Italians are sighted on Al Jazeera Live-Blog.

Monday, August 22, 2011 - 10:27 GMT+3 - Libya

Technical staff for Italian oil giant Eni have arrived in Libya to investigate how quickly they can get oil facilities back up and running, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini has said.

"The facilities had been made by Italians, by [oil field services group] Saipem, and therefore it is clear that Eni will play a number one role in the future [in Libya]", Frattini told Italian state TV RAI.


The British PM, such a prize of homogenity I can't even remember his name, Jones or Blithersplatt, is giving a presser, referring continuously to someone called Chairman Jilal. Who? This fellow. Cameron's message to Gaddafi is clearly written on the News Bar: "We control the money."

At last, what I have been seeking, the glory of the internet, the opportunity to read smart-arse reviews on Google Maps of Bab el-Aziziya, the Gaddafi stronghold.

And, Google, why, yes, I am interested in buying a Used Tractor, how could you tell?

Now, a day or so later, talk is Rome will conquer once more. Will Imperator Berlusconi really find redemption in a foreign land, so like conquerors of yore? What happened to all those criminal charges? Surely there is a limit to the amount of botox one face can take? With all the laws overturning laws, surely the next actor/model can't wait to grasp the slippery reins of Italian power. Such intrigue is the Roman way.

With all the weapons that will have dissapeared from Gaddafi's compound, Berlusconi will not be touring the Italian Quarter of Libya in the back of a jeep to receive flowers and kisses from the locals. All the cathedrals there have been converted into mosques anyway.

The (latest) leader of the Rebel Alliance travels to Milan for an audience in the heart of the Empire tomorrow. Star Wars analogy fail. Sigh. Anyway, it is only 2 hours 11 minutes flying time from Benghazi to Milan. And plenty of transport options available.

Under the circumstances, I think a submarine might be safer. Surely Silvio would much prefer to be talking bunga bunga with his old pal, Muammar. So where is the ousted leader? In a hole with a suitcase full of US dollars? South Africa says they have no idea. Do the copywriters at the CIA have the Death section of the Colonel's Wikipedia entry written, ready to update? Does the Prez have his finger on that publish button?

Who knows?

According to the Agency's trusted World Fact Book, the median age in Libya is 24.5 versus 20.9 in Iraq, compared to 37.7 in Australia. There is a reason for this. Note also that Iraq is only a quarter of the size of Libya but has six times the population.

Let us hope that the rhetoric of the West and democracy by imposition lives up to its promise this time.


Wojtek said...

Hear Hear!

A most eloquent description of current affairs, thank you for your lucidity.

The correlation between imperial Rome and today’s imperialism is pertinent, and verily a veritable verity. Imperator means The One with the Power, or The Boss. I wonder if Berlusconi says to himself, as he turns out the light to go to bed, “It’s good to be the Boss”…

Alas, he forgets that there are forces bigger than us: "There's always a bigger fish" - Qui-Gon in The Phantom Menace.

I appreciate the fact that you still hope that good can sprout seeds in that desert land, in spite of the sulphur and gunpowder.

Richard said...

Video is deletet