How to leave your ally in 24 hours?” This was the headline of the article published on the “Middle East Online" news website reporting the news that Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika had declined to accept a phone call from his former “ally” Muammar Qaddafi following the collapse of the Qaddafi regime in Libya.This is the nature of politics and interests; there are no permanent friends or everlasting enemies. This is despite the fact that Algeria, up until a few days ago and perhaps even until now, is not reassured about what is happening in neighboring Libya, for a number of reasons. These concerns go beyond what the Arab revolutions supporters claims, namely that the Algerian regime is evil or that it does not support freedom. The Algerian regime has realistic reasons for concern regarding the activities of religious armed groups in Algeria and Libya, and this is not to mention the ambiguity of the current situation in Libya. Therefore Algeria, as a country that has suffered at the hands of religious terrorism and which has only recently turned the corner regarding this chapter of its history – or at least that it what it believes – has the right to be concerned.
Qaddafi, like other slaves to self-delusion and narcissism, believes that people, countries, and [international] organizations courted him due to his intrinsic personal value and that this has nothing to do with his personal power, influence, or interests. He believes that he has an overwhelming power and charisma, perhaps because of his delusions of grandeur, and the huge amount of hypocrisy that has surrounded him over the past 40 years.Those who defected from the Qaddafi regime to form the National Transitional Council, or at least most of them, were senior figures in Qaddafi’s government, indeed some of them were principal partners in the creation of Qaddafi’s Libya. This includes [Abdul-Monem] al-Houni, [Abdel Salam] Jalloud, [Abdel Rahman] Shalqam, and others. However they all decided to jump from Qaddafi’s ship as soon as they had decided that the Colonel was not good for Libya or its future, yet of course they each served their own interests – objectively or subjectively – in doing so. This was even more apparent in Egypt during the reign of Mubarak, where everyone suddenly came out as opponents of Mubarak following the outbreak of the uprising, claiming that they had been waiting for an Egyptian revolution since the first air strikes [against Israel] during the October war . Only the deluded are won over by words of praise, whilst only the weak are shaken by words of slander; it is only the strong and honest who are neither affected by praise nor shaken by slander. Only the strong and honest possess the vision and will to succeed. We are today seeing Qaddafi’s family fleeing to different countries, whilst they were previously greeted with cheers and praise, something they became accustomed to, by the people of Libya, Arab intellectuals, Arab hypocrites, or those marketing revolutionary rhetoric. This situation brings to mind the following verses of Arab poetry:Time, ups and downs, and tyranny have removed the maskHumiliating the strongest and most dignified of us, and the championsI offered advice that was not heededNow it is our destiny to be divided or soledWill we someday be united once again after we have been scatted?
By MSHARI AL-ZAYDI