Letter to the Editor
I have been following the situation in Libyan since 17 February, and I would like to object to Peter Symonds's 19 August commentary in which he suggests that the NTC in Libya is a “NATO puppet regime” (http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1108/S00238/natos-puppet-regime-in-libya-falls-apart.htm#a).
The freedom fighters of Libya asked NATO to help them protect themselves from the brutal tyranny of Ghaddafi; NATO did not move in on the country or set up the NTC. In fact, NATO members had some reluctance to proceed at first. The NTC is hardly a puppet regime of NATO or anyone else. It's a committee of people who are doing their best to hold things together while their countrymen put their lives on the line so that a democracy can be established that will benefit everyone. Symonds seems to be deliberately interpreting the facts in ways that make these actions highly suspect rather than seeing them as genuine moves towards democracy that are at last showing signs of genuine success. Why does Symonds feel the need to use the phrase "anti-democratic and mercenary character" to describe the NTC? It's Ghaddafi who has been the anti-democratic autocrat in the country for over 40 years, as history clearly shows. Most of the population has been living in fear. The only ones who've had it easy are those who have collaborated with Ghaddafi and have been rewarded by him. To suggest that the freedom fighters into "NATO puppets" is an insult to their cause and to their character.
The NTC has much to do in the coming weeks to set up elections and help to establish a democratic, inclusive, functional society. It will not be easy, and Libyans will not agree on everything. The important thing is that they are committed to freedom, justice, and the rule of law. Citizens in plenty of other countries have overthrown tyrants through the years. It’s now the turn of the Libyans, but after all they’ve been through, they are not likely to become anyone’s puppets.
New South Wales, Australia