posted on Jan, 31 2006 @ 10:31 AM
I think there is a syndrome among Arab states, I will call it The Ghaddafi Syndrome
It happens when a head of state realizes that his throne is shaky, and so he claims to represent religious rigor and "the only" leader who is
willing to stand up to the west, thereby giving him the role of "Moral Leader of the Arab world."
I think there is a strong longing in the Arab mind for the Qalifah, and in some ways even for the cultural hegenomy of the Ottomans. A return to a
sort of monolithic Arab Superstate that in the old days was called an Empire in the west.
A tinpot dictator can lay claim to that lineage, and garner support from the "religious right" in his state that would otherwise drive him from
power. Ghaddafi was often referred to as "the watermelon" by non-Lybians. Green (Muslim) on the outside, covering a red (athiestic communist)
Saddam was similar; the only serious assassination attempt was carried out by sunni extremists while he was praying at a mosque. Their hatred stemmed
from what they claimed was his secret apostacy, and not from his mismanagement of world affairs.
Now, we can use an adjective, Ghaddafi-esque (from Kafka-esque) to describe actions which, while they make a leader more secure from
internal rebellion for being an apostate, cause an inevitable racheting-up of world tensions.
Here are some states that have been Ghaddafiesque:
Saddamian Iraq - claiming vast WMD to make your people think you're quite the international player, when in fact most of your scuds are made from
those cardboard tubes that gift wrapping paper comes on, while your bunkers are covered with old tires, so that invading Americans will freak out and
think the smoke contains chemweapons. False cell-phone "operas" describing the movement of atomic weapon-material in the desert may impress your
own soldiers, but not the French and American Intelligence communities.
Libya - when attacks on passanger airplanes bring the bombs raining down in your presidential suburb, you can switch to an anti-Islmic witchhunt:
See, we failed because of insidious western influence within our culture: Tubas! Trombones! Accordians! Neferious instruments of the infidel
South Yemen - So what if your people live in the Middle Ages? Attacking Saudi Arabia for its oil reserves will be the first move toward setting up
the Qalifa---and getting you some oil to play with. If your army of shepherds is wiped out by Saudi aircraft, well, it just shows that Sa'ud is the
arm of the American Devil!
Talibani Afghanistan - the only Muslim state "brave" enough to support Al Qaeda on 9-12, and "brave" enough to believe OBL's statements that the
Afghani hill country will deter Americans from invading.
I expect Hamas' rule of the Palestinian territories to last about 2 years, and to be Ghaddafiesque in the extreme.