Moreno-Ocampo Knows Best: End of "Tribal" Wisdom
As elsewhere in the developing world the conflict is based on "tribal maneuvering," something Luis Moreno Ocampo should consider but ignores
[This Earth of Ours]
I see another leader from the so-called "Third World" has come under the whip of Luis Moreno Ocampo, the International Criminal Court (ICC) seeker, this time Muammar Ghaddafi of the Great Socialist Peoples' Libyan Arab Jamahiriyiya
along with two other Libyans.
They are accused of committing crimes against humanity by targeting civilians in a crackdown against rebels which of course has happened but what are we to expect when the Libyan tribes revolt, loot and try to overthrow a government, often with the backing of a foreign power in need of oil.
Rebels, in the case of Libya, have been seizing arms of all calibres from the government arms dumps and demonstrating to the world media that they intend to kill. As elsewhere in the developing world the conflict is based on "tribal maneuvering," something Luis Moreno Ocampo should consider but ignores, having no doubt failed in his duty to make a proper study of the history of the area before making demands that individuals appear before any international criminal court.
None of us like these "tribal" --actually mini nations-- disputes but they are only settled by the leaders themselves as they have been for hundreds of years. I have in the old days come across many examples of this wisdom of talk in Africa, perhaps one of the greatest was on the banks of the Nile under the branches of a very old tree designated for "tribal" --mini nation-- settlements where I watched a nation's president sitting before scores of traditional elders leading them by talk and wisdom out of a potential inter-ethnic massacre.
This is the right road well known amongst the Developing World. Now, today, not only do we have the nation's leadership being dragged away by foreigners into an alien European culture with no traditional "Baraza Tree" but we also have a British general , the head of his nation's army, suggesting that a greater killing force be used against Gadhafi's regime. I ask you, can this be executed without further civilian loss?
Luis Moreno-Ocampo tells us that Gadhafi's forces attacked civilians in their homes, shot at demonstrators with live ammunition, shelled funeral processions and deployed snipers to kill people leaving mosques. Based on this intelligence he no doubt hopes to put a rope around the neck of Libya's leader.
It is a flawed intelligence: both sides, the government and rebels, are wounding and killing one another in equal numbers. As I have said it is "tribalism" at its worst and it is dialogue that is needed more than anything else just as it was, and still is, in Iraq.
The Developing World has shouted out from the roof tops over and over again: "Leave these matters to us!" but seemingly what matters is not the welfare of those struggling day by day to survive on a cup of tea and one slice of bread and butter, but those whose vastly more comfortable lives depend on oil.
Make no mistake there is no comfortable future without oil and the powers that be, I am told, do not intend to leave this vital resource with people still involved in "tribalism" such as, for example, the people of Southern and Northern Sudan.
We are seeing the horrors the need for oil is creating with the US announcement last week that energy exploration in Alaska has always been a tough choice between preserving one of the planet's last great areas of pristine wilderness and the potential for huge profits to be made from development.
That the peace of Alaska and the destruction of its wild life, one of the glories of our beautiful planet, is to be sacrificed to
enable a small and wealthy proportion of the world's people to suck up its "black gold" and continue with their privileged life style for a paltry hundred years or so more will be to future generations a truly unforgivable crime.
And in those hundred years what an irony that modern weaponry such as the pilotless killing machines that are at present weekly killing innocent civilians will be so advanced as to end the planet as we know it.
Anyway, the warrants issued are not expected to have any immediate impact on the war in Libya but they could make it harder for the recipients to end the conflict by going into exile. Because the Security Council ordered the ICC investigation, all U.N. member states would be obliged to arrest Gadaffi and his named supporters if they ventured into their territory.
This certainly prevents the African Union taking part in talks, but who cares in the western world? Moreno-Ocampo tells the world he has the evidence of the Libyan leader issuing orders, his son organizing the recruitment of mercenaries and their Chief of Intelligence carrying out tortures; no doubt the same ones as used in the USA and by other western nations.
What we are seeing is a nation in a position of stalemate with both sides claiming gains one day only to find a reverse the next and way up in the skies modern aircraft with an opportunity to test out new bomber inventions using up their countries' hard earned taxes on air strikes said to be supporting rebels.
The killing will continue now that the days of the Banyan tree and "tribal wisdom" have long gone. The industrial world can
sell their weapons, see them used and then come back another day to sell replacements. Any hope that such a killing cycle can be stopped?
Well, there is always the International Criminal Court.
Bob Astles now lives in Europe. He was an advisor to the late Ugandan dictator Idi Amin Dada; the 2006 Oscar best Actor Award movie "The Last King of Scotland," with Forest Whitaker, is loosely based on Astles life in Uganda.