Valentines Day in Libya
Everyone knows that Valentines Day is celebrated around the world on the 14th of February every year. It is a bit of a double edged sword; for many it’s a happy day of celebrating the intimacy between a happy couple, for others it’s another excuse to stay in and bemoan about how sickly happy everyone is.
I’d be interested to find out if they celebrate the 14th of February within Libya, I hope they do. On the day after Valentines Day an oppressed people stood up and protested against a long standing regime. Perhaps everyone was in a loving mood and decided enough was enough.
It’s a shame that not long after these protests began they were summarily quashed by heavy military intervention, or at least Gaddafi thought they were. The protests escalated into a nation-wide uprising which culminated in the overthrowing of Gaddafi and his subsequent death; the end game has been reached and the National Transitional Council are widely expected to announce the liberation of Libya sometime tomorrow (23rd October).
What might have been the downfall of Gaddafi could well have been his paranoia, so scared of there being a military coup d’état he kept the military relatively weak. This is turn meant that the rebels (along with the death from above provided by NATO) probably didn’t have as hard a time as they should have done, at least the rebels had their Toyota tanks. Yes it has been hard for them and many have suffered, but you can’t help but think it could have been worse.
Whatever the eventual cause of the current chain of events, the media has been heavily involved in cataloguing what has been occurring in Libya. There will never be a full story of every little thing that went on, but it has raised awareness that bad things happen in the world.
Listening to Radio 2 on the drive home yesterday I spent a lot of time wondering what goes on in some people’s minds. Yes pictures are graphic and not the kind of thing you want to be looking at when you eat your breakfast, but as I said above “bad things happen in the world”.
We either live in a 1984 state (some argue that we already do) or we have a free press, which is it that you want? Sky News repeatedly warn viewers when the footage is going to be shown, so people have plenty of time to turn off if they want to. I’m not saying that people should be forced to view these graphic images, but hypocrisy has a horrid stench when people demand to know what is going on in the world, but then decide not to when it’s not all hunky dory.
Perhaps if papers started showing the images of the dead women and children that suffered at the hands of Gaddafi, then people would realise that no matter how distant, wars are still gruesome affairs, arguably by some as a necessarily evil. Rather than showing pictures of a dead dictator, which to some makes the whole chain of events in some way justifiable when it isn’t really. Gaddafi was overthrown, but he really shouldn’t have been allowed to get as far as he did over the 42 years he ruled Libya.
I don’t know if people in Libya were previously allowed to celebrate Valentines Day as we do over here, but look at what happened the day after! The people involved with Occupy London have got nothing on the Libyan rebels; I’m not suggesting they go on a rampage, but at least start doing things in a little more of an organised fashion and occupy something financial and not the area in front of a big church. Hopefully Libyan citizens will get the chance to celebrate their love more freely and enjoy a generally less Orwellian lifestyle.
Even though I’m single and generally wretch at the thought of loved up couples on February the 14th, at least now the Libyan people will have a better chance to do so. So when you’re on your own, or even with your current wife/husband/squeeze; spare a thought for how NATO air support has in some convoluted way played cupid.