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Revolutionary Wants Technology To Transform Libya 117

pbahra writes in with the story of Khaled el Mufti, the network-security engineer who was in charge of providing telecommunications for the Libyan revolution. "It isn't often you get the chance to meet a real revolutionary. It is a term cheapened by misuse, but Khaled el Mufti is a revolutionary. It is no exaggeration to say that the role he played in the Libyan uprising last year was crucial; had he and his telecoms team failed, it isn't hard to think that Col. Muammar Gadhafi might still be in power. Today, Mr. Mufti is a telecoms adviser to the interim government and heads the e-Libya initiative, a bold plan to use the transformative powers of technology to modernize the Libyan state, overturning 40 years of corruption and misrule under Gadhafi. Mr. Mufti is an unlikely revolutionary, a softly spoken network-security engineer with a degree from Imperial College in London. Almost by chance he was in his native Libya when the revolution took place, working on a project with BT in the capital, Tripoli."

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Revolutionary Wants Technology To Transform Libya

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  • My prediction: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by russotto ( 537200 ) on Wednesday January 25, 2012 @09:23PM (#38824447) Journal
    Dead within a year.
  • Re:Quick (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 25, 2012 @10:02PM (#38824691)

    Technology is a tool, support to make something easier. It doesn't solve your problems for you.

    That's why specialists rarely make it into leadership positions. They lose touch with reality. You know the saying, when you have a shiny new hammer, everything looks like a nail.

    The first thing they need right now, is to print scads of leaflets about what democracy is, how different is from the previous regime and so on. And not just papers, but people to support those things with words. And they needed to do it just weeks after the end of the conflict.

  • This depresses me (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sideslash ( 1865434 ) on Wednesday January 25, 2012 @10:31PM (#38824843)
    Not saying there isn't great potential for good there, but I don't expect to see it. Unfortunately, the Islamists in Libya and Egypt would like nothing better than to use technology the same way Iran does -- to stifle any dissent from the political/religious straightjacket that is Islamic fundamentalism. I hope for the best, but don't like some aspects of the political momentum I see in the "Arab spring". It seems like they are dumping corrupt secular dictators, just to prop up theoretically less corrupt, but still abjectly fascist slave masters wielding Sharia law.
  • by artor3 ( 1344997 ) on Wednesday January 25, 2012 @11:26PM (#38825159)

    By the standards of the country, the Muslim Brotherhood is moderate, and perhaps more importantly, they were elected. It's better to have an elected government than a dictator, even if that elected government does some bad stuff.

    Let's not forget that America passed plenty of terrible laws when it was younger. Still does, in fact, though not to the same extent. The Sedition Act made it illegal to say anything bad about the government. Black people were deemed 3/5ths of a person. No, that doesn't mean they got three fifths of a vote. It means their owners did. They banned sodomy and alcohol. Non-protestants weren't allowed to hold office in many places.

    It takes a long time for democratic countries to level out and start running themselves well. But it beats the hell out of being completely at the mercy of a dictator.

  • by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Thursday January 26, 2012 @12:05AM (#38825333) Homepage Journal

    Skimmed the article - from what I've read elsewhere:

    Gaddafi wanted to price oil in terms of gold and get all of Africa to do so as well. This threatened the petro dollar.

    Libyans had a very high per-capita reserve of gold.

    The same day as the US^H^H^H^H^H NATO started to attack, the 'rebels' set up a central bank and a national oil company.

    The idea that the war was fought to protect rebels or civillians (see also: Syria, Bahrain) is sketchy. The idea that it was fought to protect the value of the US Dollar as the world reserve currency and maintain the primacy of central banks ... well, we wish that weren't true.

  • Re:Quick (Score:1, Insightful)

    by trikes57 ( 2442722 ) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @12:13AM (#38825371)

    So, why would it be bad that geeks and nerds get a real chance?

    Why are so many afraid of logic and reason being in power positons?

    You are talking about a Muslim majority culture in Libya.
    Logic and reason mean nothing.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 26, 2012 @01:51AM (#38825769)

    Oh come on. The media elitists keep telling us that this arab spring is nothing but good stuff, and there's rainbows, and cookies, and everyone is going to hold hands. That's why in egypt they just elected a group of people which will be happily throwing the countries legal system back to the 13th-14th century, and quickly shoving women back to chattel status.

    Oh...and the same thing is going on in libya. Sadly the people that believed this revolution stuff would be positive were so naive that it made me wonder if they'd ever left their home countries and wondered the world in the slightest.

    If thats what the egyptians want, then thats their right. You or I don't have to like it, but it sure as hell aint any ones business but the egyptians. fought hard for their democracy, and its up to them to decide what to do with it, not some slavering angry westerners who want to turn the middle east into some sort of bizzaro reflection of washington, london or paris.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 26, 2012 @03:23AM (#38826125)

    If you think the Muslim Brotherhood is homogeneous, you're fooling yourself. Calling the Muslim Brotherhood "the same guys who hold the same beliefs as 50 years ago when they wanted to slap tents on women" because a faction of the movement is violent and fundamentalist is like calling the Tea Party "the same guys who assassinated Kennedy and Lincoln" because some psychos with guns who call themselves tea partiers make death threats and in one case tried to follow through.

    Neither is a fair representation of the movement, and there are a lot of reasonable and peaceful people who want to work within a western democratic system to affect change per their vision of a better USA/Egypt.

  • by Xest ( 935314 ) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @05:44AM (#38826609)

    "Libya - The US Currency Protection War"

    An Epic story, brought to you from such esteemed authors as "The Jews did 9/11", "The Financial Crisis is the Banks Taking Over the World", and "UFOs took my mum"

    It's stupid, I suppose these people think that Gaddaffi was in on it too and sent his forces to destory Benghazi provoking the initial French strikes to tip the scales in favour of military action too only to be backstabbed later on? Presumably after the initial strikes the reason Qatar, Britain, and France spent most money and took most risk over the conflict was because Cameron and Sarkozy were caught up in a love triangle with Obama and hoped to whisk him away to Canada where gay marriage is legal too?

    A bank is a pretty important symbol of a functioning state, and a rebel cause like this needs an incredible amount of funding to stand up to the amount of reserves of gold and cash Gaddaffi had lying around to fund mercenairies and so forth.

    As with all wars, those that helped the winning side will likely hope for some kind of repayment - favour for their companies when it comes to oil contracts and such, but to suggest this was some kind of planned US coup is fucking laughable. America was pretty reluctant over Libya and didn't even really want much to do with it, and after softening Gaddaffi's stationary implacements and facilities with initial cruise missile strikes, didn't in fact have much to do with it providing little more than intel from drones and satellites.

    If there were any countries for whom this would be a conspiracy it would be Britain, France, or Qatar, as they were the primary instigators of it throughout, but then you'd have to find a reason other than the US dollar conspiracy theory.

    It's also highly unlikely Russia and China wouldn't have an idea of what the Americans were upto, and they'd have outright vetoed the UN resolution knowing this is what it was about.

    Really, it was what it was, some may disagree whether it was right and that's a fair point, some may point to greed when countries who supported the uprising get handed favourable contracts, but this wasn't some grand US conspiracy - as with most conspiracy theories, the theory only tentatively pieces together a handful of disparate points, whilst failing to string together a cohesive explanation for all the parts of the story that don't fit, no, they just get conveniently ignored by the nutjobs.

"The pathology is to want control, not that you ever get it, because of course you never do." -- Gregory Bateson