The British foreign office looks more stupid than ever today after the Transitional National Council, which it has recognised as the Government of Libya, collapsed. Its entire executive committee has been sacked by its head, Mustafa Jalil. The committee had organised the murder of its own army commander, former pro-Gadaffi killer General Younes, and appears to have been dismissed for incompetence in organising the cover-up. Nobody really knows if Jalil has the authority to dismiss everybody else, but as neither he nor they were elected in the first place, it is a rather fine point.
What is for certain is that the “government” of the TNC is not recognised by the people doing the acutal fighting. The rebels of Misrata have actively repudiated the TNC, while the most succesful of the rebels in the field, to the south west of Tripoli, do not appear to have any firm links with other rebel groupings and are largely Tuareg particularists.
Anyway, all is well. The complete collapse of the self-murdering TNC is in fact a sign of strength. Hague’s Foreign Office issued the following yesterday:
“the dismissal of the executive committee demonstrates the strength and maturity of the NTC.”
Pick yourself off the floor, stop laughing and read it again:
the dismissal of the executive committee demonstrates the strength and maturity of the NTC.
As someone who used to work there, I find it deeply disturbing that large amounts of taxpayers’ money are being spent within the FCO to produce this surreal propaganda.
The truth, of course, is that for Hague and Clinton the TNC has to exist only as a numbered Swiss bank account for oil revenues and arms sales to flow through. As long as that account number exists, an actual physical opposition, self-appointed, blood-steeped or whatever, is an irrelevance to western governments.
The ever excellent Patrick Cockburn here.