Friday, 1 April 2011
Al Khums Courthouse
Today I read Judith Miller's article in the Daily Beast on Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi's transformation from a "kinder, gentler face of his father's ugly regime" to a man who has chosen "his family, clan, and tribe". There has been a lot in the media recently about the ties of Harvard Business School professors & associated consulting firms with the Libyan government and the probable ghost writing of Saif's doctoral thesis at the London School of Economics - not to mention highly paid pop star performances for the regime. It's news but hardly anything new. To begin to understand most situations, I think it really is best to "follow the money". What caught my attention today about events in Libya was this idea of clan loyalty. Those on the right side of history (as defined at the time and carefully nurtured thereafter) tend to get a pass for their tribal brutalities. After all, they won ("Winning!"). The losers get vilified. One exception to this I thought of today was Robert E. Lee who, albeit reluctantly, chose his tribe (Virginians) in America's civil war. He emerged as a hero, emblematic of the South's lost cause. I'm wondering if, should the rebels prevail in Libya, Saif will be allowed to ride back to Tripoli on his magnificent white steed.