The Libyan methodology

If you watched the treatment of Iman Al-Obeidi, the young Libyan woman who burst into a hotel full of foreign journalists in Tripoli on Saturday and told them how she had been held for two days and raped by Gaddafi security forces, then you have seen a microcosm of the culture, the methodology of the autocracies of the Arab world and how the individual regimes  view themselves and their peoples.  Branded by the Libyan regime spokesman as a prostitute, they said that al-Obeidi was either drunk and mentally ill. They even asserted that she was not a law graduate.

Gaddafi’s men did everything to denigrate Iman, even claiming that she had willingly met with some of the men she subsequently accused of raping her.  When her mother intervened by giving an interview to the international media draped with a rebel Libyan flag and showing photographs of her daughter receiving her law degree, the regime’s sickening attempts to recover their dignity by impugning Iman were laid bare for the world to see. Is there anyone who seriously imagines that any of these victims would have been listened to were it not for Iman’s formidable courage? The Libyan regime is indubitably rotten to the core and leaves any casual observer with the impression that truth and dignity are in short supply with these people at the helm. Consider Gaddafi’s threats of hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing Libya and claiming asylum in Europe. This particular situation can be easily organised by his coterie. If the rebels are beaten back, vast numbers in the east will attempt the hazardous journey to Lampedusa and the EU will be faced with possibly catastrophic numbers of refugees. It begs the question: can we afford not to remove Gaddafi from power?


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