A Tyrant’s Last Stand?
Earlier this year, I was involved in a lengthy discussion about the Libyan uprising and the fate of Muammar Gadhafi the long ruling leader of this North African country. At the time, not too many people who discussed with me saw the wisdom in getting rid of this despot. The US was bitterly blamed for meddling in Libya in what was at the time expected to be another protracted war against a Muslim country.
It is now five months since that discussion, and it appears that at long last the rebels (the civilians), are on the verge of reclaiming Libya for the Libyan people. Indeed, it seems like we are now seeing the beginning of the end for Colonel Muammar Gadhafi. Videos and clips from Libyan streets show a great number of excited youths rejoicing over the prospects of Gadhafi’s fall and departure from Libyan politics. Boy, is 42 years a long time for one man and his family to rule over a country? Who upon reading this thinks that Gadhafi ought to be given at least 8 more years to rule before the people of Libya get a representative government?
It seems that Gadhafi has decided to die in Libya rather than relinquish his grip on power. As at this time, his sons have been reportedly captured but he is nowhere to be found. The rebels are already in Tripoli the capital, and it won’t be long before the last vestiges of the pro-Gadhafi forces are routed and his ignominious government terminated. If he were wise, he would have taken the counsel I offered to him months ago when this uprising was just beginning; he should realize that the gig is up. He should take the much he has looted and saved so far and disappear to Venezuela where he would be treated with utmost respect and care and live out the rest of his days in relative obscurity enjoying the fruits of his dictatorial control over Libya’s vast oil economy. At any rate, if he has chosen to die in Libya, then die he must because there is no indication that the people of Libya are disposed to treat him now with any bit of deference.
On a related note, the Syrian strongman Bashar Al-Assad should be very worried because he could be next in this wave of Arab uprisings.
Read a previous discussion on this issue here.