By Abdelkader Assad
He posed for the tens of cameras in front of him wearing a fancy military outfit that has been ornamented and decorated with such a neat to be found in the best fashion shops in New York and Paris – at least those two cities are his buddies!
Khalifa Haftar; call him what you may: the Commander of the Dignity Operation in Eastern Libya, a leader of the House of Representatives National Army, a commander of militias backed by Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, France and others, or even a CIA agent and a renegade General; announced a dropping jaw – at least for his followers – news on Wednesday saying his forces liberated Benghazi from “IS” militants and Islamists.
Then, the show went on, every militiaman and every follower of the new tyrant started glorifying the savior of Benghazi and the savior of Libya from the militants as they say, songs were aired on TVs glorifying his name and his achievements, comments on TV programs and news hours were given in his favor saying how brave he was to uproot terror from Benghazi.
And there you have it, a new dictator is ready and fresh in the mold to be Libya’s upcoming military ruler who runs the country with an iron fist.
But setting aside the naive glorification of a portion of the Libyan people of Haftar and what he did yesterday in Benghazi – which is actually no achievement knowing that he has been trying to “liberate” (!) Benghazi since May 2014, when he kicked off his Dignity Operation “a disguised coup on February revolution” – is this what all Libyans want?
What happened on Wednesday is just some militias who outnumbered their opponents positioned in Sabri, Sooq Al-Hooth and Wasit Al-Balald areas in Benghazi and thus managed to take the three areas and gain ground of the whole city, but only the ground as all the areas that witnessed clashes have been destroyed, people have been displaced across the country and hundreds of the civilians were killed and injured.
Now it is true that some Libyans are glorifying the event and singing it through their dry throats, but that is no shame, at the end of the day Libyans have only lived without a dictator to glorify for 6 years, they are still trained well on how to make a new one – and the songs, eulogy and celebrations with Haftar’s photos on the streets are a living example.
However, what is really shameful is to see the comments of the western countries – such as the UK and others – hailing the liberation of Benghazi and bringing peace to the city!
What kind of peace are you talking about? One might ask!
Isn’t Haftar against the western countries and the UN-backed government of Fayez Al-Sirraj?
Why support him and his far-fetched achievements then?
Haftar has said it more than once lately that the Government of National Accord is illegitimate and will be toppled over by December this year, adding that he will “liberate” Tripoli from it and from the militias of Muslim Brotherhood that are securing the GNA.
So, what is the deal, why is the international community happy for Haftar’s Benghazi liberation knowing that he is going to spoil their lovely achievement in Tripoli – the GNA?
To my fellow Libyans I say, don’t wrack your brains around this unsolvable problem, it is way beyond your understanding and Haftar is the X in that problem.
Abdelkader Assad – Libyan freelance journalist