I was saying back in the day in another HN post that the so called Libyan "protesters" were a bunch of crooks and mercenaries picked up and supported to topple Khadaffi. The Libyan case had nothing like the _real_ popular protest in Algeria, Egypt etc.
Why? Because Libya was stable under Khadaffi (as stable as those kind of places get) and people had it relatively very good. And yet he was portrayed like some Dr. Evil plotting to takeover the world, so that the western masses will cheer when he got toppled and foreign interests get the oil and natural resources.
And the very thing was hailed as a "triumph of democracy" etc (what a democracy, when foreign leaders cheer when an adversary is beaten to a pulp -- gone are the days when even Nazi generals were treated with respect by the western officers when captured).
Well, it didn't last long, now, as predicted, Libya will get to be another unstable, civil-war, dogmatic islam nightmarish country.
The unfortunate truth is that some of these dictators and their military was all that was keeping their countries from turning into bastions of religious intolerance. To a zealot anything is an offense and any offense is an excuse.
Egypt isn't exactly improving, if anything they are moving backwards at the hands of religious zealots. Algeria is in a better state as its government is still in place.
Iran ended up going Islamist after a monarchy installed by the US and Britain, unseating a democratically elected government, failed. Hopefully Libya won't go that way, but wouldn't be that surprising.
Yeah, and after 1945 all Italians had been "resistance fighters", of course; saying otherwise would have put your life in danger. Every revolution has its special tribunals.
I suspect, 10 years from now, the well-educated youth who grew up in secularist and nationalist Arab regimes, will think they made a big mistake when they toppled them. Like Coptic Christians who badmouthed Mubarak in Egypt, they didn't know how good they really had it.
If the alternative is oppressing, torturing and disappearing YOU, I'd argue you have it quite good indeed.
EDIT: to clarify, I'm not saying that murderous dictators are a good thing. What I'm saying is that, by toppling them with all-out revolutions, they've probably thrown the baby out with the bathwater, because they've discredited the whole nationalist/secularist argument.
Considering Qadafi and Mubarak were getting very old, it would have been much better to negotiate a gradual transition to parliamentary rule, like they've had in Spain or Chile.
The only way to make sense of this is by taken a super long term perspective. I can see some point, that with a lot of luck one of the next generations might become more tamed down. At least I honestly can't make any other sense of this "yeah, so we removed the dictator, now do whatever you want" approach.
What I find hardest to accept is how readily the US and its NATO pets, with all their intel, will accept and propagate the "popular uprising turned freedom fighters" narrative. Also how fervently and without a shred of doubt our news sources will drill that narrative into its viewers so that in your own social circles you're damn near proclaimed a heretic if you cast some doubt on the plot. The whole thing stinks to high heavens.