Thursday, December 29, 2005

Liberty in Libya

Michael Totten has one of the best trip reports I have read in awhile; and its from Libya.
The capital city of Tripoli was an asteroid belt of monolithic apartment towers with all the charm of gigantic sandblasted filing cabinets. The streets were mostly empty of cars, the sidewalks empty of people. I saw no restaurants, no caf├ęs, no clubs, no bars and no malls. Nor did I see anywhere else to hang out. Libya, so far, looked depopulated.

We drove past a shattered former government compound surrounded by a lagoon of pulverized concrete that once was a parking lot. It was obvious when that thing was built. The 1970s were the 1970s everywhere, even in Libya.
I saw no corporate advertising: no Pepsi signs, no movie posters and no cute girls flashing milk-mustache smiles for the dairy industry. I did, however, see one hysterical propaganda billboard after another. They were socialist cartoons from the Soviet era, the same kinds of living museum pieces still on display in North Korea and other wonderful places where starving proles live in glorious jackbooted paradise.
Communism/Socialism and all that crap. What a legacy to concrete....and poorly poured concrete at that. I don't think they will be opening Wheelus anytime soon, so our Air Force guys should be safe. Sounds like the liberty in Thule is better.

Read the whole thing.

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