So Gaddafi is a psychotic murderer: don’t say you weren’t warned

26 February 2011

It is nearly two decades since the murder of Ali Abuzeid, a Libyan dissident, who was
cut down on the streets of London in the most brutal fashion. Having been identified as one of Colonel Gaddafi’s “stray dogs”, he was tracked down to his west London grocery,
where he was living out his time in exile and assassinated. It was a particularly brutal murder: kebab skewers were thrust through Mr Abuzeid’s face.
I first wrote about the case in the Observer with my colleague Antony Barnett when Security Service files were
leaked that showed how MI6 had been led a merry dance by a senior Libyan diplomat they had hoped to recruit. The diplomat involved, Khalifa Bazelya, was expelled shortly after the murder.
Mr Abuzeid’s brave daughter, Huda, has been pursuing the British government over the case ever since. Her appearance on Newsnight opposite Labour’s shadow foreign secretary Douglas
Alexander this week reminded me of how shameful the Blair government’s realpolitik was with regard to Libya.
It is worth reading the whole leaked MI5 document (Libyan Intelligence Service Activity in the UK) to get an idea of how Gaddafi’s loyalists operated in the UK in the 1990s. It is still
available on the wonderful Cryptome website here. Among other things, Bazelya harassed dissidents and ran the PR campaign in Britain to discredit
the theory that Libya was responsible for the Lockerbie bombing.
Two years ago Huda Abuzeid wrote a remarkable piece in The Spectator entitled “Why
has my father’s murder gone unpunished?” It is an important question and one that Douglas Alexander could not answer on Newsnight.

As events unfold in Libya we cannot pretend we were not warned. It’s just that Labour ministers chose not to listen to the voices of those like Huda Abuzeid, who urged them not to do deals
with this psychotic dictator.

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Show comments
  • rndtechnologies786

    Good view.

  • Verity

    Wasn’t PC Yvonne Fletcher murdered by Gdaffi?

  • In2minds

    @Ken Bishop – The Spectator is for the “tedious and rather dim”. So there’s no need for you to waste your time on us.

  • arnoldo87

    @Ken Bishop

    I may be dim, Ken, but I still recognise quotation marks when I see them.

  • Ken Bishop

    “Arnaldo87, Vulture

    Perhaps people who still think it’s clever and witty to call Labour “liebore” should be barred from posting, on the grounds that they are clearly tedious and rather dim?

  • arnoldo87

    “it’s called tolerance – not a concept you liebore loons are familiar with.”

    Ah, yes. We all yearn to be as tolerant as you are, Vulture.

  • Liz

    Vulture …… probably not. Although I strongly suspect that Erica and Patricia are one and the same.

  • Vulture

    >erica blair

    Why not? They allow deranged Labour supporting posts from numpties like your good self. (Are you related to Mr Tony btw?)

    it’s called tolerance – not a concept you liebore loons are familiar with.

  • Erica Blair

    ‘Arab fawning’ sound very much like ‘N*gger loving’ to me.

    Is racist crap like this acceptable at the Spectator?

  • Patricia Shaw

    That s interesting Liz, im interested to know how Israel manipulated the us congress to ensure the executive voted against its own policy at the un, and give Israel carte Blanche to pursue its murderous ambitions in Palestine.

  • Liz

    I’m interested to hear how the Arab fawning Galloway and Livingstone manage to square up current events in Libya.

  • Commentator

    The left is now trying to do what it did (successfully) when the Berlin Wall fell: retreat into silence and carefully dissociate itself from its former poster boy (in this case the despotic psychopath Gaddafi). This time, we should take every opportunity to remind people that the left glories in tyranny and political violence. It has an unparalleled record of supporting both. Not that the Tories are any better, especially their One Nation wing who have never wasted an opportunity to court dictators and sell innocents down the river. But for the Arab revolt, Dave and Hague would have been following in Blair’s fawning footsteps to Tripoli.

  • Johnnydub

    Same Old smokescreen RB..

    The labour party lied through their teeth for years and years that the decision to free Megrahi was taken by the Scots on humanitarian grounds… when it reality it was done for a BP contract and the Scots sold their souls for a 100M bank loan.

    Maybe the Tories would have done similar things (we’ll never know) – but Christ they simply don’t have the track record of non stop lying that labour do…

  • RB

    I’m not a Labour party supporter by any means, but it’s silly for people to try to make a party political point here – the Conservatives would have done the same.

    The ‘realpolitik’ policy of propping up authoritarian leaders in the Arab world was shared by most Western governments and political parties – the only significant counterargument was actually that of GW Bush, but this was not followed through as Iraq descended into shambles and removed the political capital necessary to make the case.

  • Augustus

    In his doctoral thesis for the LSE, the far from innocent son of Gaddafi, Saif, picks up
    on the distinction made by the theorist John Rawls between two kinds of not entirely
    just societies: On the one hand the well-
    ordered, though not fully democratic ones, who are peaceful and whose leaders have some legitimacy with their citizens, and who respect human rights. Then there are the
    ‘outlaw’ regimes, or ‘unjust societies’, that systematically violate human rights.
    These are the societies that should be subjected to sanctions, denied military aid,
    or aid of any type, and have all economic ties with the outside world suspended or frozen. He endorses Rawls’s argument that
    outlaw states should not be left to roam freely and says: “The isolation and eventual
    transformation of rogue states is vital to global stability.”

    So let’s apply then the principles of Rawls,
    and let us make a clear distinction between
    those states that use violence against the people, and those that engage in dialogue with the opposition. A tough regime of sanctions by the UN Security Council against Libya should be its response. A no-fly zone, the immediate opening of proceeding by the International Criminal Court, and the freezing of all the Gaddafi
    family assets held abroad. It’s a rogue state, so let’s treat it like one.

  • Ricky

    Warned by whom?

    The chatterati and the fashionista Left have been extremely quiet during the Second Arab Revolt. The deafening silence speaks volumes. But then as John Adams famously said: facts are stubborn things.

    Many have filled their boots on Arab money whilst engaging with their post Soviet Islamist allies in a somewhat menacing campaign of “antisemitic & christianophobic chic”.

    Many of your Party comrades (UCU, TUC, etc etc) have repeatedly attacked, divested or boycotted the only true democracy in the region – Israel – whilst regimes that execute gays, stone women to death, remove limbs for minor crimes, ban trade unions, a free press and promote antisemitic and anti-christian hate cults – are treated as honoured comrades.

    As Gaddaffi falls, suddenly Barack “Allah Akbar” Obamastan – introduces sanctions, despite having done business for over 30 years.

    Gaddaffi is the same man who instigated Lockerbie, who funded the so-called “peace flotilla”, the National Union of Mineworkers and the IRA in an attempt to undermine Margaret Thatcher, illegally.

    The Left used to stand up for the “Brotherhood of Man”, for decent values, industriousness and social justice.

    It’s street fighters, party hacks, union knuckleheads, academic bigots and vocal student voices in London are now all part of a Regressive Alliance that champions tyranny.

    Who knew? We all did.

  • In2minds

    Were those Labour ministers who chose not to listen to the voices of who urged them not to do deals with this psychotic dictator ignorant or complicit? It’s hard to know.

    Professor David Held of the LSE helped Saif Gaddafi with his PhD on ‘global democratic governance’ and ‘soft power’ no less and has very recently expressed his view that the poor chap has been torn between his family and his liberal values! The LSE has received a lot of money from Libya – is the LSE ignorant or complicit? I think it is the former which is frightening, if unsurprising.

  • vulture

    Yes, Mr Bright, and all this ( and worse) was done by the Labour party that you still so shamefully ( and absurdly) support.

    Blair, Brown and Mandy – best mates of psychotic murderers each and every one.

    So until you resign your party membership your breast-beating hypocritical remarks can be safely ignored.

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