"...prophesied the destiny of a [then-] young and ambitious officer... who would grow into a colonel who will be saluted by generals and statesmen, an eccentric who would prefer a thoroughbred camel to a limo... with a charming-brutal Amazon guard of 40 virgins, trained to use all kinds of weapons and martial arts."
Biljanovski likens the Ghadaffis to Harkonens, drawing direct parallels between the oil beneath the sands of Lybia to the spice melange that powers the interstellar travel of the world of Dune (links added).
The brutal bloodshed, thousands of victims, bombed protesters, hiring mercenaries to beat up the people, and the restrained reactions from international community, make clear that the "Guild" will tolerate the contemporary baron, colonel Ghadaffi, as long as he controls the huge quantites of "spice" under the dunes of Sahara.
"He who controls the spice, controls the universe!" - Herbert wrote [probably most famous quote of Baron Vladimir Harkonen].
Rebelions in North Africa and the Middle East, and the fall of autocratic leaders in Tunisia and Egypt faced the western civilisation with the uncomfortable truth - it turned a blind eye towards the undemocratic regimes in the Mediterranean, preferring stability and order, and moreover, the natural gas and the oil. [Western] Europe which piled its treasures during the era of colonialism also faced wars and autocratic regimes on its Eastern and Southern borders not so long ago, and persistently promotes democracy, human rights and rule of law as universal values. However, it quietly encouraged autocratic regimes on the opposite shores of the Mediterranean--with lucrative trade deals, investments and credits--as a protection against the potential chaos: wars, impoverished refugees, surge of militants... Enriching the ruling elites in North Africa, while the people grew poorer and more frustrated. Anger spilled in January, from Morocco to Iran. The irreplaceable Ben Ali and Mubarak fell, but the dominoes stopped at Ghadaffi, the first despot determined to defend his rule till the last bullet.
If we except the usual expressions of concern and calls against use of brutal force against protesters, Europe and America remain silent, because Ghadaffi's fall means the loss of guarantees for favorable energy deals, deals to stop the waves of immigrants, and forcible actions to root out radical Islamic groups.
While I write these lines, Ghadaffi still controls half of Lybia. If he falls, he will be just one more domino. But if he saves his hide with his tanks and airplanes, he will provide ["best practice"] example for the shaken autocratic regimes of Yemen, Bahrain, Oman, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Iran... showing them they can survive by using tanks against protesters. The Guild already gathered in Abu Dhabi, where the annual fair of defense technologies and weapons ends today. Americans, British and Russians sell various weapons to the Arab sheiks and sultans, from assault rifles to tanks and airplanes. Just like they sold to Mubarak and Ghadaffi.
As long as the Guild depends on the spice, Arrakis will be a doomed planet.
A reminder: kings and other kinds of hereditary aristocracy by definition are dictators. Dictators for life, whose "right" to rule comes from of being God's appointees on Earth, in collusion with legalized nepotism - their status comes from their genes, i.e. who they or their parents are, not from their merit.
Update: The U.S.A. introduced sanctions against Lybia.