18 October, 2019

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We Came, We Conquered, He Died

By Rajiva Wijesinha, MP –

Reflections on Hilary Clinton’s Libyan triumph, Chris Stevens, and the price of regime change

Prof Rajiva Wijesinha, MP

When I read of the sad death of the American ambassador in Libya, I wondered whether Hilary Clinton, who had reacted with such depressing vulgarity and Caesarian pretension to the death of Colonel Gaddafi, registered the link between this killing and what the Americans had done in Libya. At the very least, she much have realized that, had Gaddafi still been in power in Libya, the American ambassador would not have died.

I presume the lady would assume that the death of her representative was a small price to pay for having got rid of Gaddafi. The fact that American interventions have resembled another less famous line from Julius Caesar – Cry havoc, and let slip the dogs of war- is probably of little consequence to her in comparison with what seems the enthronement of American capital and the enhancement of American power. Which is more important in her eyes, God alone can tell, if indeed he can cope with the schizophrenia that seems to govern American relations with what they see as lesser breeds without the law. Cunningly, though, now the responsibility for continuing deaths can be seen as lying with other agents, unlike in the days when the chosen instruments of American domination, from Papa Doc to Pinochet, got away with mass murder on the grounds that they were saving their people from godless radicals.

So doubtless the hunt for Bashir Assad will continue, regardless of the increasing evidence that extremist forces are in the forefront in this respect, and have committed their share of atrocities that are all attributed in the Western press to the Syrian government. The techniques being used are of course not new, as I realized again when reading William Dalrymple’s account of the Indian Rebellion of 1857. Talking of the annexation of Oudh, which had contributed to the resentment that fuelled the uprising, he cited a disillusioned British official who ‘exposed the degree to which a largely fictional dossier…had been assembled by interested parties within the Company to push for Avadh’s annexation. The dossier had depicted a province “given up to crime, havoc, and anarchy by the misrule of a government at once imbecile and corrupt.” This image, wrote Bird, was little more than “a fiction of official penmanship, (an) Oriental romance”’.

At the same time, in deploring American perfidy, we should be aware of the excuses given for it by both imbecility and corruption on the part of governments they wish to get rid of. Gaddafi, for instance, who had seemed deeply committed to his people in his early years in power, seems to have relished luxury in his old age. Ironically this went together with a softening towards the West, which was the counterpart perhaps of the softening in the head that several decades in absolute power had precipitated.

Some of this change in attitude may have been due to the affection for Western values – as evinced in practice, as opposed to the moral perspectives celebrated by Western apologists – evinced by his children. Educated in the West, relishing nightclubs and haute couture even though provided with a doctorate at one of Britain’s more prestigious universities, Said Gaddafi provided those who wanted to intervene with the excuse they needed through his reaction to the uprising in Benghazi. His response suggested a bloodthirstiness that called to be contained, and it was used to influence public opinion, leading to the resolution in the UN Security Council which Russia and China did not veto.

I think there is a lesson for us here, for I believe the more myopic Americans are still keen to see a change of regime in Sri Lanka. So long as they have to deal with Mahinda Rajapaksa himself, I have no fears, for his popularity in the country is obvious. Though the Anglo-Saxons, in a move some of the Europeans deplored, tried to promote Sarath Fonseka in 2009, the results of the election made it clear that getting rid of President Rajapaksa would not be easy – and it also confirmed what I have always felt, that his appeal lay not in narrow nationalism, of which his enemies accuse him, but which their chosen candidate in fact exemplified, but in a human sympathy that the vast majority of Sri Lankans appreciates.

This is not necessarily true of his family. Though they all have their virtues, and it is easy to defend them against the common criticisms made, none has the same charm or understanding of the wider Sri Lankan picture. Concentration on one aspect or the other can be perverted by those who do not have the best interests of the country at heart, and any excess can be exploited by the hostile.

Given the use made of his children’s excesses by those who thought anything better for Libya than Gaddafi, even the forces that have killed the American ambassador, it is important that the President ensures that his children are well mentored. Namal Rajapaksa has G L Pieris, who I suppose is better than the academics in England who provided Said Gaddafi with his doctorate, but I was reminded of the very different sort of mentoring the President himself had, when Chamal Rajapaksa related a tale of his boyhood, when his father had sent him and the future President to my father when something amiss had occurred. Home spun wisdom may sometimes be better than sophistication in pursuit of agendas that are not objective.

Robert Blake’s latest pronouncements, together with the relentless campaign with regard to war crimes that the usual suspects are conducting, to coincide with the Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva and the visit of Navi Pillay’s team, suggest that we need to be constantly vigilant. The Ministry of External Affairs may now think that all will be well, and that sacking Tamara Kunanayagam and preventing her from chairing the Working Group on the Right to Development will keep the West happy. But pressures will continue, and there are ways, as Oudh and Libya and Syria show, to create moral pressures that may be simply ‘Oriental romance’, but which can lead to replacement of leaders who are disliked. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance, and the quality of that freedom must also be maintained, as that poor American ambassador must have realized when the forces his Caesar had unleashed fell on him.

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    In political jargon, useful idiot is a pejorative term used to describe people perceived as propagandists for a cause whose goals they do not understand, who are used cynically by the leaders of the cause.
    The term has been used to describe Soviet sympathizers in Western countries. The implication was that although the people in question naïvely thought of themselves as an ally of the Soviet Union, they were actually held in contempt and were being cynically used. The use of the term in political discourse has since been extended to other propagandists, especially those who are seen to unwittingly support a malignant cause which they naïvely believe to be a force for good.

    Well you, my dear Dr.Wijesinha, are nothing more than a “Useful Idiot” for the Rajapaksa Family Regime. :)

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/documentaries/2010/07/100624_doc_useful_idiots_lenin.shtml

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      Presidunce Bean:
      Again, I beg to disagree because this b…d is a USELESS idiot. At least his father was slippery enough to maintain some kind of “respectability” while he squirmed his way through life and feathered his nest!

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      Shame on you Rajiva! You were once and academic and intellectual and should be on out there with FUTA protesting the strangulation of education and the right to information and debate by this foul regime you defend!
      Lanka has become an unbelievable banana republic with with one Rajapassa family running the whole country and bankrupting it– even worse than Libiya under Gadhafi which actually had oil wealth, as some who were at the Commonwealth Parliament circus in Colombo noted!
      Meanwhile, the rupee has lost 30 percent against the dollar so to stop brain drain FUTA needs to ask for a 50 percent salary increase, and 10 percent GDP increase for education sector! Qualified academics with PhDs overseas earn in foreign currency and will not go back to Sri lanka to earn 350$ per month as a senior lecturer – an insult!
      Today in Lanka only the Rajpakses and related crony capitalist are making money. Every one else is suffering due to the rupee loosing value and purchasing power due to the stinking corruption and borrowing from every corner by that criminal Cabraal at the Central Bank who has mortgaged the cournty..
      Meanwhile bloody Ranil W is twiddling his thumbs while Rome burns and won’t let anyone who can win elections take over the UNP.. which is today run by a morally bankrupt power hungry dictator (Ranil) in the mold of and supporting Rajapakse the megalomaniac dictator. Rajiva stop writing drivel and defending the indefensible, please!

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    The comparison between Saif Ali Qaddafi and Namal Rajapaksa and the good Doctor’s acceptance of the role of the two sons being similar is somewhat disturbing, but perhaps he will elaborate as time goes on.
    Otherwise, an analysis of the tragedy of Chris Stevens truly worthy of a Rajapaksa sycophant. Suggest Dr. Wijesinha reads the following: http://www.economist.com/node/21562914 and understands that in the end game, intervention was the correct course in Libya. It is certainly understandable why regime mouth-pieces like Wijesinha seek to end any kind of Western assistance to depose autocrats and dictators. After all, what will be his fate if his boss were to go the way of his bosom bud, Qaddafi?
    Also, Kudos on the Hillary bashing, one month ahead of Sri Lanka’s UPR.

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    For all the lessons that could have been learned from Libya..Prof. Bean has gathered that children of despots need good mentors.. ha ha ha..for the more intelligent readers the comparison would have been what happened to a dictator and his sons who abused power and privileges for 42 years and wasted their country’s wealth on booze women and fast cars is obvious. Hope this joker becomes Sri Lanka’s next foreign minister..

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    Dear Mr Wijesinha,

    I think there is something right in your words. I’m just surprised that a defensor of the Rajapaksa administration highlights resemblance with the Libya uprising.
    Don’t take me wrong: I think that the US intervention was more than debatable. What interests me is that the US condemned the Qaddafi regime mainly on the ground that it was attacking civilians. Now, everytime you mention Libya (and Sirya) my mind can’t avoid the thinking of another,recent episode where a sovereign state brutally attacked and killed thousands of civilians. Any suggestions?

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    This Useful Idiot ‘diagnosed’ sexual encounters between NGO personnel and Menik Farm inmates on rumours of ‘blue eyed children’ being born.

    Now he ‘diagnoses’ Human Sympathy in his mentor – not his family – notwithstanding the assaults,atrocities,rapes,murdes,abductions,
    disappearances,frauds – all of which are ignored/swept under the carpet.
    The sympathy extends even to persons like Julampitiya Amare.

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    Not suprising that “[Edited out]” Rajiva gets a 100% No vote when he
    comes to the defense of the Regime – he is contracted to write at
    every such turn is ones guess. No wonder he is a now a Professorial
    idiot of a Consultant to the Regime.

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      Not only Rajeeva, all the other so called respectable, educated individuals who act as advisors and keep company with the most Corrupt, most Dishonest and the Murderous in this country, how can one expect Justice and Honesty from them? I believe it is time that whether they be friends or family members, we should shun them completely for the villany they commit enjoying our hospitality, helping to destroy the very foundations of Honesty and Justice.

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    Hello BLUE EYE Prof.

    First of all put your house in order before you talk about others.

    Where is the photograp of the Blue eye children that you have seen in the Tamil IDPs camps.

    This is a good prove for one to believe you are an utter lier.

    Bring ths photographs.

    Dont insult the Tamil mothers.

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    This man Rajeeva’s father lived by deception and so does the son. No difference to the Mervyn Silvas who live by arrogance and these live by deception.

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      From what the author says maybe old Sam taught the current king a few lessons..the master may have only taken two pensions but the student has done much much more. Like father like son this man too is giving his backside shamelessly

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    Is our Antio-colonial Banda croaking again for his Bread! speaking no doubt with a remarkable english accent about American imperialism does not cut water unless you yourself are a black english man like our Banda here!

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    What a profoundly woeful piece of disjointed trash this is; Rajiva you should be ashamed of yourself for this piece of codswallop. This one surely takes the cake! It is clear to any reader that you have lost your way, and also your academic integrity!!! Sheeeesh.

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      INTEGRITY HAS LOST ITS MEANING IN THIS COUNTRY.
      IF NOT HOW COME RAJAPAKSES CONTINUE TO LOOT THIS COUNTRY AND
      RAJIVAS ARE MERE ONLOOKERS. OBVIOUSLY HE TOO IS PART OF THE “GANG”

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    This empty loiterer is making a huge uproar about what US did in Libya, but what about Rajapaksha regime that nearly exterminated an entire civilian population in North and East in Sri Lanka?

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