Immediately after I finished my previous post I learnt that the new Libyan government has agreed to an inquiry into the circumstances of Gaddafi’s death.
The Guardian in reporting this inquiry asserts that it is being held under western pressure. Strictly speaking this is probably true. However that western pressure is itself the result of increasing demands for such an inquiry from the BRICS states and from the Russian and Chinese governments in particular. What may have tipped the balance in favour of an inquiry is the discovery of a mass grave of pro Gaddafi fighters in Sirte who according to Human Rights Watch were probably murdered after they were captured by the rebel forces. This suggests that the murders of Gaddafi, his son Mutaizzim and Gaddafi’s army commander, were not isolated affairs but were part of a veritable bacchanalia of tortures and killings carried out in Sirte as the city fell.
No one should have any expectations of what this inquiry will achieve. That the new Libyan authorities have no intention of carrying out a proper inquiry is shown by the episode of the non existent autopsy that I discussed in my previous post. In addition the rebel leaders in Misurata, who actually have Gaddafi’s body in their possession and whose fighters were the ones who tortured and murdered Gaddafi, have made no secret of their contempt for the new Libyan authorities and appear to be a law unto themselves. They are most unlikely to cooperate willingly in an inquiry that is bound to convict their fighters and possibly themselves of Gaddafi’s torture and murder and for the moment it seems that the new Libyan authorities in Benghazi and Tripoli simply lack the means to bring them to heel. That the rebel leaders in Misurata have no intention of cooperating in any inquiry into Gaddafi’s death is shown by their continued refusal to return his corpse to his family and by their apparent intention to bury Gaddafi at sea. Nor is there any realistic possibility that the western politicians in the US, Britain and France who supported them in their war against Gaddafi will put sufficient pressure on them to make them change their minds.
Indeed the truth is that western governments have no more interest in a genuine inquiry into the circumstances of Gaddafi’s death than do the rebel leaders in Misurata. Such an inquiry would be bound to expose the full extent of these government’s role in Gaddafi’s overthrow and subsequent murder. For obvious reasons this is not something the western politicians who head these governments want. If there was any pressure for an inquiry in the western media such reluctance might be overcome but as I said in my previous post there is no sign of it. On the contrary the British press as I write this post prefers instead to publish a succession of essentially identical articles written mostly by Arab publicists I have never previously heard of all hailing Libya’s great new democratic dawn.