Friday, October 21, 2011

The End of Muammar Gaddafi

“Your armed forces have overthrown the reactionary regime, which was corrupt and backward... Libya is henceforth free and sovereign… There will be no more oppression, abuse or justice, no more masters and slaves; rather there shall be free brotherhood and equality… Then we shall build our glory, revive our heritage and reclaim our dignity…Its time to begin our work, let us go forward!”
This sounds like a statement issued by the National Transitional Council following Gaddafi’s capture and death yesterday. But it isn’t!

Muammar Gaddafi in 1969
This is actually a broadcast by Radio Benghazi in the early hours of  1 September 1969, when a 27 year old Colonel Muammar Gaddafi having just overthrown the regime of King Idris took the leadership of the new Arab Republic of Libya.

In the four decade long Gaddafi rule, all these ideals disappeared and what emerged was a monster government that fed on it own people. The rise and fall of Col. Muammar Gaddafi shows how a young soldier with hopes of creating a better Libya turned into a tyrant and led to the destruction of his country.

But when the Arab Spring hit Libya, unlike his counter parts in Egypt and Tunisia, Gaddafi refused to step down. He fought and fought hard even though each passing day brought his end nearer, he did not give up.
Muammar Gaddafi in 2011
I distinctly remember Gaddafi’s last speech on state television in February which I called Ramblings of a Frightened Man where Gaddafi vowed to fight on and die a "martyr" in a highly dramatic way shouting and pounding his fist calling on his supporters to take back the streets from protesters who wanted his ouster.

Today the photographs of Gaddafi drenched in his blood and lying limp with the rebels around rejoicing his capture flashed on the front pages of every newspaper. Many call the gruesome images poetic justice.

Yesterday in Libya the NTC’s Abdel Hafez Ghoga said:
“We announce to the world that Gaddafi has died in the custody of the revolution. It is an historic moment. It is the end of tyranny and dictatorship. Gaddafi has met his fate."
The NTC will soon come up with a statement on the visions of the new Libya post Gaddafi in Benghazi on Sunday. I fear it may perhaps sound similar to Radio Benghazi’s broadcast of 1961.

But I just hope for the sake of the millions of Libyans this time a good intention is followed by good action.

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