Understanding the Libyan Uprisings: An Alternative Perspective

This week we recognize the 8th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, an illegal war of occupation that continues to this day.  The grounds on which the Iraq war was based turned out to be a batch of lies coaxed up by top officials in the United States government.  The U.S. Secretary of State – General Colon Powell, introduced these lies and manipulations to the United Nations at the request of his boss President George W. Bush.  Eight years later and under a new administration, another U.S. Secretary of State makes arguments supporting military action against what would be the fifth country currently under attack by U.S. military forces.  Libya can now be added to the exclusive list of nations being bombed by the United States and her allies, which also includes Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and the occasional bombing of Yemen. (This list does not count the dozen or more nations currently being victimized by U.S. covert actions and state sponsored terrorism.)

To better understand the complex and dynamic circumstances involved in the Libya situation requires an understanding and analysis that goes far beyond what is reported in the mainstream media.  This article will be one of a three-part series that will attempt to shed some light on the situation and fill in some of the voids that are a result of a well designed misinformation campaign against the Libyan government and perpetuated by U.S. and European intelligence agencies.  “Part 1” focuses on who the Libyan “opposition” or “rebel” forces are.  “Part 2” talks about some of the confusing and contradicting language that is being used by Western media outlets, Al Jazeera, and even many of the independent progressive media sources here in the United States. “Part 3” focuses on the question “why Libya?” as opposed to Yemen, Bahrain, and other non-democratic regimes facing domestic opposition in the region.

The conclusions I make are not merely speculative.  Much of what I will be writing draws on both my personal knowledge on the subject, as well as correspondence with Libyan friends who are currently in Tripoli and Benghazi.  My contact in Benghazi is a University Professor who I met while visiting Tripoli a year ago as part of a delegation led by former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney.  For safety, I agreed to conceal this person’s identity and will not specify which information came from this source, although in some cases it may be obvious.

Part 1: The Opposition Forces?

As I sit to write this article from the safety of an American café in Anchorage, Alaska, bombs rain down on cities and towns all across the North African nation of Libya.  I can hear reports from one of the corporate news stations on the television here.  As I look up at the screen I see a close-up of Libyans cheering, while in a small window on the upper right side of the screen there are far off images of bombs and missiles causing explosions on what appear to be Libyan targets.  I suppose the message here is similar to the visual messages that we were fed 8 years ago as we saw Iraqi’s cheering their new occupiers driving in on tanks and heavily armored humvees.

One of the questions regarding the Libyan unrest that has yet to be answered by any of the news agencies is – who exactly are these Libyan rebels?  The western media, with help from Al Jazeera, has done a remarkable job portraying the unrest in Libya as a popular revolt.  The anti-government or opposition forces have been referred to by various titles, including “pro-democracy protestors” and “non-violent demonstrators” to sell the image of them as a continuation of the pro-democracy movements that began in Tunisia then spread to Egypt.  However these terms, while still being used by some media outlets, fail to correctly identify the extremely complex and diverse makeup of the rebels.  While some of the protestors are calling for democracy in Libya, that is not necessarily the consensus among everyone in the opposition.

For instance, we can begin to understand who this opposition group is by first looking at what flag they are flying.  It seems as though the flag of the opposition has been widely accepted by the rebels.  What is not talked about in the media, and even among progressives, is what this red, black, and green flag with a crescent in the center actually represents.  First of all, it is the former flag of Libya that was introduced after independence under the rule of King Idris.  Idris ruled the monarchy after independence until 1969 when he was overthrown by the military under the lead of a young Colonel with a Pan-Arab/Nassarite ideology.  (A monarchy is far from a democracy and monarchs are still ruling in many parts of the Arab world.  Their rule is passed through hereditary and sometimes marital relations.)

Following the overthrow of King Idris in 1969, the flag was changed from the red, black, and green to a red, white, and black flag with no religious symbols.  In 1977 the revolutionary council led by Colonel Gaddafi introduced a new flag.   The Libyan flag, which still flies today, is a simple green flag.  Libya is the only nation represented by a single color flag with no symbols.

The issue of what flag the opposition forces are flying is of extreme importance because it says a lot about who they are and what they want.  If you recall, during the Tunisian and Egyptian uprising, the protestors flew their national flags, which suggested that although they wanted an end to the dictatorial rule, they still identified with the nation in its modern form.  At the beginning of the uprising in Libya, there were green Libyan flags being flown by some of the youth, students and professionals who make up what can be considered the “intelligencia” class.  These were the very first protestors who where clearly inspired by the democratic movement that hit North Africa, starting with Tunisia and spreading to Egypt.   I remember the first image I saw regarding a demonstration in Libya was online at Al Jazeera English.  The demonstrator, a young man who looked like he was in his mid-twenties, was on camera demanding Libya live up to the country’s official name the “Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.”   [The term Jamahiriya is Arabic for “a state of the masses,” which is another term for the governing structure known as a “direct democracy.”  A direct democracy refers to a system where the masses of the people are involved in the decision making through a process of councils starting from their local community reaching up to their national government.  It differs from a representative democracy where individuals elect candidates to speak for and represent them.]

Immediately following the first day of protests in the capital city of Tripoli the government clamped down hard and things seemed quiet for about a week in early February.  By the middle of February protests sprung up outside of the capital, primarily in the second largest city of Benghazi, which has since been the focus area of the corporate media.  The protests in Benghazi differed from the earlier non-violent protests that occurred in Tripoli.  The Benghazi protests included the attacking of government institutions.  The burning of government buildings quickly distinguished these protests from what was happening in other parts of North African and the Middle East.  The news media continued to call the protestors “non-violent” and “pro-democratic,” even as the protestors themselves acted contrary to those descriptions.  The terminology is important, as it is used strategically to form public opinion.  In “Part 2” of this series I will go further into the biased news reports and terminology that was used to shape the discourse and raise sympathy for the opposition forces.

What should be understood about the opposition forces in Libya is that they are not made up of any one particular group.  In actuality, the opposition is made up of a coalition of groups that only really have one political view in common, ending the 40-year rule of Gaddafi.   However, the problem facing the opposition forces is that there are differing beliefs on what should come after to replace Gaddafi’s regime.  Just because they all want change does not mean that they all agree on what that change should be.  For instance, the intelligencia class was demanding democratic reform, not necessarily the overthrow of the government.  They advocate living up to the true meaning and mission of a direct democracy.  Ironically enough, this was also part of a critique leveled against the Libyan government by Gaddafi himself, in 2008 and again in 2009 when he called for the reforming of the government due to a failed bureaucracy and corruption.  (Another issue that will be talked about in the second part of this series is the fact that the media refuses to recognize the actual government of Libya that is and has been in place prior to the unrest.  If you only listen to the corporate media they would have you believe this 70 something year old man was running every government entity in the country.)

The next group that participates in the opposition coalition is based on partial tribal alliances that would like to see the entire government of Libya overthrown and possibly the re-instatement of the monarchy.  This group is rather powerful and is not new to Libya.  They are strongest in the town of Benghazi and they have a history of being in cahoots with foreign intelligence agencies.  This element of the opposition has been funded and armed by foreign intelligence agencies in the past and even attempted an uprising against the government after a 1996 massacre in a local prison where inmates took hostages and held a prison revolt, but were ultimately killed by prison guards. The exact number of killed prisoners is unknown but some reports claim to be as high as 1200.

Family members of the slain prisoners have on several occasions protested the massacre.  Opportunistic anti-government forces in Benghazi attempted to exploit these protests with the intent to start a popular uprising, by rallying people around this prison massacre.  This brings us to the next group and probably the best organized prior to the current uprising.  This group is made up of educated professionals who feel Libya should be modeled after western capitalist nations like the United States.  Prior to the civil unrest these power hungry opportunists where never able to amass any considerable amount of support from the Libyan masses.  When they tried to use the prison massacre protests to ignite the people of Benghazi, the Libyan government quickly suppressed the protests. This segment of the opposition continued to organize both inside Benghazi and internationally under the title the “Libyan National Council”.

Mahmoud Jibril

The leader of the Libyan National Council is a man named Mahmoud Jibril.  Jibril has close ties with the United States, Britain and France.  It was reported last week by several news agencies that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had a brief meeting with Jibril while she was in France.  French officials are also watching over Jibril and protecting him from harm upon reports that Colonel Gaddafi put up a reward of $400,000 to kill Jibril.  Jibril is believed by some to have been on the CIA payroll dating back to when he studied and then later taught in the U.S. prior to working in the Libyan government.  Jibril is an ex-patriot who worked high up in the Libyan government.  Some believe that his CIA ties were discovered and the cause of his quick exile to Europe.  It must be noted that Mahmoud Jibril and the Libyan National Council does not represent all of the anti-government forces in Libya.  There are many who will not follow him because of his close ties with European and U.S. Intelligence agencies.

The third group that contributes to the opposition is the fundamentalist Muslims or what the media calls Islamists.  This is the religious sector in Libya that would like to see a government lead by Shari’ a, or the law of the Quran.  This segment has also made its objectives very clear over the years, they wants to take over the country.  The most popular of the Islamist groups is known as the “Fighting Islamist Group in Libya”.

At the beginning of the unrest Gaddafi came on television and accused al-Qaeda of being responsible for the unrest.  He said that they drugged the youth in order to gain their support.  Many thought this to be an absurd accusation and a desperate attempt to demonize the young protestors.  It may have been a sign of desperation, but it certainly was not unfounded, at least the al-Qaeda part.  As for the drug accusation I can only assume Gaddafi was confused as to why the students would come out against him after all he had done for them and the country.  Making the university system open and free to everyone, or government sponsorship of students to study abroad in the US, Europe and in parts of the Middle East was a product of his (Gaddafi’s) leadership.  He knows the Islamists did not have that big of an influence on the youth and students, so in his mind, they must have been drugged.   How he came up with the charge of drugs is not quite clear to this writer, but what is clear is that al-Qaeda has been active in Libya and conspiring against Gaddafi for over 15 years.

On November 10, 2002 an article appeared in the Guardian, the U.K.’s largest daily newspaper, exposing a plot between the MI6 (British Intelligence) and an active al-Qaeda cell in Libya.  The article charges MI6 with paying the al-Qaeda cell to assassinate Colonel Gaddafi in 1996.  The al-Qaeda cell attempted to carry out the assassination attempt, but was obviously unsuccessful.  The details of the plot are not completely clear, however al-Qaeda members attempted to kill Gaddafi by throwing a grenade at him while he was visiting the town of Sirte.  During an intense gunfight, the Islamists and several civilians where killed.

There are multiple Muslim fundamentalist organizations active in Libya.  It is not clear whether the Islamists are al-Qaeda, or part of another group if any, or if they are just fundamentalists who want Shari’ a law imposed.  On November 3, 2007 the BBC and other press agencies reported that the “Fighting Islamist Group in Libya” merged with al-Qaeda and this was substantiated through a recorded message by Ayman al-Zawahri a senior leader in al-Qaeda at the time.  But regardless of their particular affiliation, what is important to note here are that their ultimate objective conflicts with the pro-democracy youth, the tribal loyalists of the monarchy, and the opportunistic Libyan National Council.   I have to assume that for the purpose of working together against the Libyan government, the Islamists put their differences aside temporarily.

Finally, you have the masses of people who, for the most part did not belong to any of these groups but where caught up in the excitement and the possibility of change and freedom.  I am told that this is the largest portion of the opposition.  Many of these people have legitimate dispute with and disdain for the government.  They just want to live in peace free from fear and repression.  Some have even served in the Libyan military and are applying their training to what has turned into a civil war.  This group includes those in the police and military forces that sided with the anti-government forces.

I have also been told that some of the former soldiers in Benghazi would rather be loyal to the Government, but they fear for their safety and therefore feel that they must go along with the opposition.  This touches on another issue that I will discuss in “Part 2” of this series, that is, the fact that a large portion of the Libyan society is loyal to the government and Gaddafi, whereas the western media would have you believe the opposite.

I have pointed out roughly five completely different groups that make up the anti-government forces.  I refuse to call them “pro-democracy” forces because they are not all for a democratic society.  I also cannot call them “non-violent” protestors because the only non-violent group among them is the actual “pro-democracy” youth.  I was told that some of the students and youth protestors have been pushed out of the opposition because they continually argued for non-violent resistance and opposed taking up arms against government forces.  They understood clearly that they were no match against the military and that foreign intervention would be required to save their lives if they turn the struggle into a civil war.  Other forces within the opposition, mainly within the tribal monarchy supporters along with the opportunists, dominated the opposition politically and forced the armed struggle on the masses in Benghazi and other small towns.  In Benghazi many of the youth leaders and activists have given up because many of the internal conflicts have resulted in fighting within the opposition and many of them left the opposition and the country in fear for their lives.  This is not fear of government forces, but rather of violence perpetrated on them by members of the opposition.  In other words, there was a segment that was following the Tunisia/Egypt model, but they were forced to abandon that model or leave the anti-government ranks.

There where other conflicts between the youth/students and the supporters of the Libyan National Council, such as the issue of the Council’s leader, Mahmoud Jibril.  The youth do not trust him and believe he is an opportunist who will ultimately serve the interests of the west.  They compare him with Hamid Karzai, the U.S. -installed President of Afghanistan.  As with the youth of Tunisia and Egypt, Libyan youth are not willing to settle for anything less than a true democracy, free of dictators and neo-colonial rulers.

The youth also oppose the request for foreign intervention.  They understand what comes with that intervention and how it is applied.  However, the majority of the opposition forces are very hopeful, if not convinced, that support from the U.S. and Europe will lead to a victory against the Libyan military and ultimately the end of the Gaddafi regime.  The Libyan National Council fully supports the foreign intervention because they know it is their ticket to power in the post-Gaddafi Libya.

The question that will need to be asked in the near future is what promises or deals did Mahmoud Jibril make in return for Western support? If the U.S., U.K., and France achieve their goal of toppling the Gaddafi regime, will they install their man Jibril with mass Libyan support or will they do it regardless of any Libyan opposition to the Libyan National Council?  All of this is conditioned on how far Western involvement in Libya extends.  The British Defense Secretary, Liam Fox, recently suggested that Gaddafi is a target, while U.S. President Obama said that Gaddafi was not a target.  Either one of them is lying or they have different objectives.

About the Author:

Troy Nkrumah is a Pan-Africanist with a long history of social justice and anti-imperialist activism. He began as a student organizer in Los Angeles and San Francisco.  He is currently the President/CEO of the Anchorage Urban League and an outspoken advocate for Human Rights.  Troy has traveled extensively throughout Africa and Latin America.  He traveled to Libya at the end of 2009 as part of a delegation lead by former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney.  Troy has studied, taught and written about Africa and the anti-colonial struggle. He holds a Bachelors and a Masters Degree in International Relations. He also has a Law Degree and has worked in Tanzania for the United Nations at the Rwanda Genocide Tribunal.

Which Side Are You On? Why Do So Many Rappers & Politicians Support Dictators

Global politics are always complicated. Our relationship with countries and their leaders are layered and weighed against our so-called national interests, political pragmatism and a bunch of other factors we rarely think about.

Here in the US how most of us view global politics is challenging because the mainstream media is where most of us get our news. These outlets have their own agenda and thus they tend to present stories from abroad in neat little news cycles and only after something has literally blown up to the point its hard to ignore.

In observing these newscasts we get a glimpse into a particular region where stories are framed as a made for TV movie story. On one hand we have the bad guys, the villains of sorts like Mubarak the ruler of Egypt, Ben Ali Ruler of Tunisia and as of late  Colonel Mumar Gadhafi-Despot of Libya.

On the other hand, we have the good guys like the Pro-Democracy protesters camped in Tahir square or the  young students forcing down Ben Ali. Now we the somewhat faceless anti-Gadhafi forces who are being cheered each day and getting military pledges of support from the US as they are capture city after city from their embattle ruler.

These uprisings have been presented to us with around the clock, blow by blow coverage, leaving many of us on the edge of our seats as we watched landmark events like the Pro-Mubarak supporters rushing the crowd with camels and beating protesters or Gadhafi’s ‘evil’ henchmen roaming the streets looking to slaughter those who stand up against them.

All this coverage is complete with theme music, fancy graphics, smooth talking pundits waxing poetic as they preen for their next high priced speaking gig and of course our on the ground guides (news reporters) who sometimes become the news themselves.. ie CNN’s Anderson Cooper when he got his ass kicked from those Pro-Mubarak thugs.

Unlike the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan where reporters were embedded with our combat troops, here we see folks out in the streets ducking bullets and trying not to get their equipment snatched. The whole thing is fascinating. But like most made for TV movies the action in Egypt, Tunisia and maybe Libya has been framed to have a happy ending. Mubarak left office.  Ali was bounced out, Gadhafi is on his last leg. We all toast one another, give high fives and cheer. We wave the Egyptian or Tunisian flag, became instant water cooler experts on the region and move on to the next uprising as if this was a soccer tournament

What’s lost while we immerse ourselves in these digestible ‘good vs evil’ news narratives are the complex realities that exists in the aftermath of these uprisings. For example, while our attention is focused on the battles in Libya very few of us have given a second thought about what’s going on Egypt. For many, that’s yesterday’s news. It’s a done deal. Nobody stops to think or find out if things have gotten better or worse. Nobody seems to care or even know that protests are still going on Egypt as folks are still out in the streets demanding sweeping reforms. Their end goal is to ensure they never have another dictator like Mubarak in place again. Sad part is while were watching Libya the military in Egypt which everyone cheered has been cracking down.

Protests in Bahrain

Many of us immediately after Mubarak was forced out of power started cheering for uprising in Bahrain, but that’s been all bit forgotten. Does anyone know or care who the Crown Prince of that country is or how long he’s been in power? ? Do we know what the opposition is fighting for?  Do we really care? Bahrain in our collective consciousness has come and gone even as folks still pushing for change, boldly challenging Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa.

For a brief moment we heard about protests in Yemen which has long been a stronghold for Al Qaeda, but sadly that country has been out of the news cycles for weeks even though protest against the government are continuing daily.

This is not to put anyone down for not understanding all the particulars or staying up to speed with everything going on in the middle east. That’s a monumental task for most, but all of us need to be striving to expand our understanding of global happenings as the world around us get smaller. More importantly all of us need to be looking at the roles we played in passively and sometimes very actively supporting the regimes and dictators who are being challenged.

For example, very few of us are reflecting on the fact that two months ago if asked who ruled Egypt we did know the name Hosni Mubarak. Very few of us cared that there was brutal repression even though many have gone over there to see the ancient wonders of the Pyramids and Sphinx. Many of us are not bothered by the fact that for 30 years we as a country supported a ruthless dictator.

Over the years there have been all sorts of pilgrimages to Egypt aka Kemet but have we spoken about Mubarak and his oppression?  Was that an oversight? Why didn’t we know what was going on and what role did we play along with our government in the oppression the millions who eventually spilled out on the streets? We need to sit back and think about that for a minute as we cheer these uprisings.

As things unfold in Libya many are asking the long hard questions about the support many have shown over the years for Gadhafi. When the bloodshed started I saw all sorts of tweets and facebooks status asking about the support Minister Farrakhan has shown Gaddafi over the years, the visit Reverend Jeriamiah Wright made in 1984 or the recent visit made by  former Congresswoman and Green party candidate Cynthia McKinney. What was that about people are asking? Why are these folks who are about the business of social justice in bed with a guy like Gadhafi?

Others were quick to point out that singer Lionel Richie did a concert in front of Gadhafi’s bombed out home in Tripoli in 2006. Still others are asking about the private concerts given for Gaddafi’s son and the family overs the years that have featured luminaries like Beyonce, Jay-Z, 50 cent, Russell Simmons, Mariah Carey, Usher and numerous others. How can all these people pal around with a ruthless tyrant everyone seems to be asking?

Minister Farrakhan has had along friendship with Gadhafi

There are no easy neatly packaged answers. Minister Farrakhan came out during his saviors day address and talked about his long friendship with Gaddafi. He’s been down with Gadhafi for almost 3 decades. But he’s not alone. In a recent article in the Root called Romancing Dictators they outline list of notables Black leaders from Jesse Jackson to former US senator Carol Mosely Bruan who have hung out with dictators. Are such folks in support of oppression? Hungry for power? Or caught up in the fanfare of being in the presence of folks who are the heads of state of their respective countries?

It could be plain old selfishness and shortsightedness on their part or there could something more. Each of those folks have to wrestle with why they hung or been friendly with leaders who we deem unsavory but so do many of us on smaller scales. For example, some of us reading this remain supportive and friendly with wife beaters, drug dealers, the neighborhood thug etc.. Some of us have adorned or supported artists who have named themselves after ruthless despots like Khadafy, Scarface, Noreaga, Gotti etc.. Would we name ourselves or support an artist who’s named himself after a Klan leader or Hitler?

This is not to dismiss any one’s transgressions or say two wrongs make a right, but to raise questions that ALL of us must answer. Who are we rolling with and why? What principles and values do we hold and are we being true to them? Can we afford the luxury of aligning ourself with the state and being against the people?

There are some that are insisting that those artists who performed for the Gadhafi clan have blood money and they should give what they earned to charity. Folks are outraged that such prominent artists would perform for the leader of that country. That’s something to consider.

Dick Cheney's old company Haliburton has done business with Libya. Do they have blood on their hands?

I wonder if folks are just as upset with the US-Libya Business Association which include American companies like Dow Chemical, Chevron, Exxon, Halliburton, Shell, Raytheon and Occidental Petroleum to name a few. There are more companies including some prominent lobbying groups like the Livingston group, White & Case and Blank Rome who have all broken bread with Libya. Do these companies have blood on their hands and should they like the aformentioned artists be giving the money they earned to charity as well?  Do we give any of these artists and companies a pass because they all got down with Gadhafi after sanctions were lifted under George Bush?

In any case if these artists and businesses don’t give back their earnings are you willing to boycott them to avoid having blood on your hands?  It’s interesting to note that the website to the US-Libya Business Association has suddenly went dark once all the drama started. It seems like an attempt to erase their digital footprints.

As I said earlier global politics are always complicated and the reason is because we as a country have a hard time breaking our habit of propping up and supporting dictators. Over the years we’ve made all sorts of excuses. Back in the days we were afraid of communism spreading so we put our money behind all sorts of crazy despots who seemingly took glee in smashing on their people. No one wants to talk about how years later we do robust business with China, a communist country with a shoddy human rights and free speech record, while decrying the our disdain for that form of government at Tea Party rallies. Are we trying to have it both ways?

As a country we stood steadfast behind this dictator Saddam Hussein for Years

Later we said we had to protect our ‘national interests’ in the Middle East (translation Israel), so it didn’t matter who we got behind as long as they promised not to attack Israel. So we supported the Shah of Iran, We supported Saddamn Hussein, We turn a blinds eye to the abuses in Saudi Arabia. We supported Muburak. What’s crazy is that earlier on, there were News pundits that were ok with keeping Mubarak in power for fear of the Muslim Brotherhood boogey man taking over Egypt.

We can go on and on listing our glaring contradictions. The list is long, especially as we started bending the rules and tossing aside our principles in the wake of 9-11 as we been engaged in the ‘War on Terror‘. It’s from us propping up Osama Bin Laden to our support of the Contras to our full embrace of South Africa’s Aparthied regime.

We as a country have long layed down in some strange political beds. What’s even sadder is that many of us try to act like the rest of the world doesn’t notice. Trust me, they do. When such contradictions are pointed out, there are apologist who are quick use the labels Unpatriotic  and Anti-American.

Even now with President Obama, while he made history in being the first African-American president, him aligning himself with Wall Street and carrying out wars and alliances with some of these same ruthless despots is just as troubling as when Bush was doing it..

As a country we’re quick to point out the human rights abuses of everyone but the dictatorships we support along with our own. As Minister Farrakhan pointed out the other day in his remarks about Gadhafi, if he’s persecuted for crimes against humanity, the same should apply to former President George W. Bush for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. That’s a real talk.

With that being said, all of us need to look beyond the neatly packaged revolutions we’re seeing on TV and take some unattractive things into account. First, we need to ask ourselves why are we aligning ourselves with dictators and tyrants in our quest to smash on oppressive forces here? Are we doing so because they can open up purse strings? Is it because we find ourselves powerless here and gravitate toward anyone who exudes it themselves? Is it because we don’t trust our media and concluded that anything they report needs to be viewed with lots of skepticism?

Is it because we hate US imperialism so much that we blindly get behind anyone else who shares the same sentiment and is willing to pressure or stand up to the leadership without fully examining their position on other key issues? If so how are we any different from the people and policies we say we detest?  For example, I know there are white supremacist who dislike the police. Do I stand alongside them if I’m in agreement?

Why have so many supported Ghadafi over the years?

At the same time those who are in the mist of liberating themselves need to be honest in assessing whether or not they want freedom for themselves or for all people?  For example, in Egypt we saw the coming together of a large poor  voiceless class of people and a middle class population. In victory will the poor be forgotten as the Middle class rushes to fill the seats of power? Will things change for those who are down and out? Such lines aren’t always rich and poor, a lot of times they center along Tribal, religious and ethnic lines.

In Libya we hearing reports about Black Africans being beaten in the streets accused of being foreign mercenaries when in fact many are fellow Libyans? In places where there are Black-Arab tensions and conflict how will that be resolved or will we have a situation where freedom comes in these uprisings, everyone dances in the streets and when the dust settles we have new group of oppressors in power?

None of this is easy, but true freedom comes about when everyone is liberated and we act upon principles not selective alliances that allow us to get caught up in to where we are indistiguishable from the despots being challenged.

Bottom line Which Side are you On?  Its a question we better ask ourselves over and over again as we fight the power.

-written by Davey D


Interview w/ Big Boi on Egypt & Dark Forces in Rap Industry by Urban Nomad

My man the Urban Nomad hit me up with this interview he did with Big Boi of Outkast who speaks on what’s going on Egypt and the darker forces at work in the industry that keep positive Hip Hop from the seeing the light of day.  check out more vids at http://iambrandx.ning.com/profiles/blogs/the-urban-nomad-eats-big-boi-1