[Marxism] New Libyan power: we will not deport man accused ofLockerbie bombing

Jeff meisner at xs4all.nl
Mon Aug 29 06:13:35 MDT 2011

At 17:10 28/08/11 -0400, Louis Proyect wrote:
>Libyan rebels says won't deport Lockerbie bomber
>By BEN HUBBARD - Associated Press | AP – 3 hrs ago

While I find this issue of little actual importance, it is of tremendous
symbolic importance given the controversy sparked in the West and the UK in
particular after a Scottish court released Al-Megrahi last year on
compassionate grounds (he was dying of cancer), erupting again after
Al-Megrahi was reported to be alive well after the 3 months doctors had
given him to live. Among other things this involved anti-imperialist
sentiment in Libya, particularly as many saw him as an innocent victim or
scapegoat (I have no view on his innocence) who Gaddafi had extradited as a
first move in reconciling differences with imperialism (along with other
concessions such as the ending of their nuclear program which obviously had
much more actual importance). So given that popular sentiment, I would have
been surprised for any government claiming to be nationalist to honor this
imperialist request.

[Note: since every "fact" that is presented on this list prompts
speculation if not condemnation of the writer's political bias or motive,
let me just say that I have no strong opinion (and no more knowledge than
anyone else, thus very little) regarding the character of the TNC as a body
or as individuals. So please do not impute any supposed motive to me in
that regard.]

Given that, I find this declaration of the TNC (or at least of its justice
minister Mohammed al-Alagi) that they would not release him encouraging,
but particularly in combination with another fact I have learned.
Reportedly Al-Megrahi is very ill and close to death (in a coma according
to one article). Therefore if it simply had been the intention of the TNC
not to extradite him, they didn't have to do anything at all. By the time
any extradition request could be acted on, the guy would be dead and the
question moot. Instead, they (or at least Mohammed al-Alagi) went out of
their way to defy the imperialists calling for extradition saying that they
wouldn't bow to any such request!

One could imagine two explanations. It could be that the TNC sincerely
wants to maintain the independence of Libya from the imperialists who aided
them in ousting Gaddafi. Or it could simply be that they want to APPEAR
that way, given what they know their basis of support to be, which they
don't want to alienate. But even the latter case is encouraging, because it
shows that at this very early stage, they already feel their hands tied
somewhat by the forces that brought them to power, even to the point of
refusing a request by some of their imperialist allies that had not yet
been made in writing. Again, I don't know which of these interpretations
regarding the TNC is correct, and the truth may well be somewhere in
between. But so far this is good news.

Now there are other very substantive issues of concern to the Libyan people
(both rebel fighters and civilians) that the TNC will have to take
positions on, such as the admissibility of imperialist troops on the
ground, and..... see my next post!

- Jeff

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