This is the video of Abdel Baset Al-Megrahi’s arrival to his homeland Libya (sorry the quality isn’t ideal) and if you were to watch this without knowing any of the background to the story, you would think this is the home coming of a long lost hero. In fact this is what one of the people who watched this video said…
Victory to Al-Megrahi, Victory to the Libyan struggle, victory to all of Libya commented Noorul3ilm.
President Barack Obama has called Al Megrahi’s release a mistake and asked the Libyan government to make his arrival as discreet as possible. He also asked that he be put under house arrest.
Instead Al-Megrahi has arrived to a hero’s welcome with hundreds of people gathered in the airport to receive him.
Is Libya’s reaction a slap in the face to the rest of the world? How did you feel when you saw the cheering crowds gathered to welcome Al-Megrahi?
Britain’s Foreign Secretary said the sight was ‘deeply distressing’. President Obama had written to the Libyan authorities asking for a low-key welcome, and the White House said if that wasn’t respected that could potentially ‘affect our future relations’.
But can Libya’s response to Al-Megrahi’s be interpreted as some kind of slight to the rest of the world, and more specifically the US and the UK? Or was it a normal response for someone who many of his countrymen believed was never guilty in the first place?
Think about it – if one of your compatriots was convicted of a crime you thought he didn’t do, then he was released, wouldn’t you be pleased and not afraid to show it?
Libyan President Colonel Muammar Gaddafi made sure that he’s on the right side of the international community when he engineered a rapprochement with his former critics following the Sept. 11 attacks.
He renounced terrorism, dismantled Libya’s secret nuclear program, accepted his government’s responsibility for the Lockerbie bombing and paid compensation to the victims’ families. He also gained extra status becoming chair of the African Union last year.
Now, Western energy companies — including Britain’s BP — have moved into Libya in an effort to tap the country’s vastoil and gas wealth.
Do the past few days show that nothing has changed in Libya – that it’s still the same old, same old? Or has Libya proven over the last few years that it’s a trustworthy partner to other countries?