The travails of Libya
Published by the Visayan Daily Star Publications, Inc.
|NINFA R. LEONARDIA|
Editor-in-Chief & President
NIDA A. BUENAFE
MAJA P. DELY
ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA|
By the time this comes out, the rebels of Libya who have been staging a protracted protest against the leadership of dictator Moammar Gadhafi may already have taken over completely the government of their country. We still say “may”, despite the latest reports last night about the triumphant entry of the opponents of the Strongman into Tripoli, knowing how sly and cunning Gadhafi could be, and what ruses he may have hatched to mislead the protestors.
We will be happy to know that, indeed, the quest for democracy launched by the discontended citizens of Libya and had been pursuing for about six months now, has finally succeeded. Ours may even be among the first countries to hail and congratulate the protestors on their victory, if they have, indeed attained that. This is because we could empathize with the Libyans as they struggled to rid themselves of an oppressive regime where they had lost their rights and privileges, and finally had reached the end of the rope, figuratively. Because, we, too had gone through their catharsis.
In other words, we have been there, done that.
But we hope that, in setting up their new government, that the world hopes will hew to all the democratic principles enjoyed by most of its members, the Libyan people will be able to avoid the pitfalls that politics could bring during their initial days. We went through that, and so did other new democracies like East Timor. We are fortunate that we won our cause within a brief three days, and bloodlessly at that, while Libya virtually went through a bloodbath.
But they will have problems, big problems that will take a lot of maturity and self sacrifice among their leaders now. We hope and pray for them to be able to avoid those, even as we welcome them to the circle of free nations, free to choose their way of life, and those who will lead them, on their own.*