The gruesome death video is on Al Jazeera
Ah, Muammar. One of an older breed of amusing psychopaths, something like the Mervyn Silva of the international stage. If you can ignore the torture, the murder, the corruption, the terrorism and the general FAIL, he was a funny guy. Zenga Zenga. Now he’s dead.
Al Jazeera is plastering his dead mug for what seems like hours, on and off, I guess so people know he’s gone. He was quite out by the time he was killed. Like Saddam, he hid out in his ancestral hometown, though unlike Saddam he hasn’t grown a beard.
The Libyan Revolution was the first armed movement in the Arab Spring. Though all the other dictators tried to cast their opponents as armed rebels, in this case, rebels actually were armed – by the West. This is mainly because Gaddafi was unconventionally odious. In global politics, it is quite acceptable to oppress your own people as long as you play ball internationally (presuming that you’re on the field). This meant that whatever Mubarak did in Egypt was OK with the west as long as he supported Israel.
Gaddafi, however, couldn’t resist being idiosyncratic internationally. For him terror was never a tactical thing, it seemed to be just the way he was. Delusional, psychotic, cruel, and incredibly spoilt. Like an idiot child with an Army, a Navy and oil.
But seriously, these guys shouldn’t be running countries. Go into music, be the next Lady Gaga, whatever. The international political stage is no longer the place for this indulgent, violent, weirdness. Of all world leaders Kim Jong-Il is perhaps the last shining example of a Great Dictator left. Perhaps Mugabe, with the Hitler stache.
What does this mean for global politics? Well, for one thing, the west has been involved in a winning war. I think this is the first since, I dunno, you can’t really count Iraq or Afghanistan, perhaps Libya will be counted in those ranks as well. At least the people there fought for their own freedom, so hopefully it will be more like the French helping the US during their Revolution. I’m sure there were excesses on both sides, but let’s hope the Libyan people can dial back the violence and the guns and get the decent governance they deserve.
For another, there was a violent resolution to a conflict, a military solution to a dictator. From Prabhakaran to Bin Laden, terrorists are being found and killed. While I take no particular pleasure in this, it is probably a net good. War is never good, but wars that end and enable a better future can be. I wish creatures like Gaddafi would never emerge in the first place, but here’s hoping that we’re entering an era where such obvious douchebaggery is either weeded out or never takes root. Good luck Libya. You’re gonna need it.