A Tyrant’s Ignominious Death
Ding-dong, the tyrant of Libya is dead. It’s been a long time coming, but finally, the people of Libya can finally put the Gadhafi era behind them.
Longtime dictator of Libya, Muammar Gaddafi, has been killed following the capture of his hometown of Sirte.
There were confusing reports of Gaddafi’s capture and death, and questions remained over exactly how he was killed.
Arab broadcasters showed graphic images of the balding, goateed Gaddafi – wounded, with a bloodied face and shirt – but alive. Later video showed fighters rolling Gaddafi’s lifeless body over on the pavement, stripped to the waist and a pool of blood under his head.
While he was still alive, the fighters drove him around lying on the hood of a truck, perhaps to parade him in public. One fighter held him down, pressing on his thigh with a pair of shoes in a show of contempt.
Standing upright, he is shoved along a Sirte road by fighters who chanted “God is great.”
Gaddafi appears to struggle against them, stumbling and shouting as the fighters push him onto the hood of a pickup truck.
“We want him alive. We want him alive,” one man shouted before Gaddafi is dragged away, some fighters pulling his hair, toward an ambulance.
Most accounts agreed Gaddafi had been holed up with heavily armed supporters in the last few buildings held by regime loyalists in the Mediterranean coastal town, furiously battling revolutionary fighters. The battle for Sirte has been raging for more than a month.
At one point, a convoy tried to flee and was hit by NATO airstrikes, carried out by French warplanes. France’s Defense Minister Gerard Longuet said the 80-vehicle convoy was carrying Gaddafi and was trying to escape the city. The strikes stopped the convoy but did not destroy it, and then revolutionary fighters moved in on the vehicle carrying Gaddafi.
One fighter who said he was at the battle told AP Television News that the final fight took place at an opulent compound. Adel Busamir said the convoy tried to break out but after being hit, it turned back and re-entered the compound. Several hundred fighters attacked.
“We found him there,” Busamir said of Gaddafi. “We saw them beating him (Gaddafi) and someone shot him with a 9mm pistol … then they took him away.”
Military spokesman Col. Ahmed Bani in Tripoli told Al-Jazeera TV that a wounded Gaddafi “tried to resist (revolutionary forces) so they took him down.”
Fathi Bashaga, spokesman for the Misrata military council, whose forces were involved in the battle, said fighters encircled the convoy and exchanged fire. In one vehicle, they found Gaddafi, wounded in the neck, and took him to an ambulance. “What do you want?” Gaddafi asked the approaching revolutionaries, Bashaga said, citing witnesses.
Gaddafi bled to death from his wounds a half-hour later, he said. Fighters said he died in the ambulance en route to Misrata, 120 miles from Sirte.
Abdel-Jalil Abdel-Aziz, a doctor who accompanied the body in the ambulance and examined it, said Gaddafi died from two bullet wounds – to the head and chest.
“You can’t imagine my happiness today. I can’t describe my happiness,” he told The Associated Press. “The tyranny is gone. Now the Libyan people can rest.”
In the United States, President Obama addressed the death of Gaddafi in a press conference. “The Transitional National Council informed the United States of Gaddafi’s death shortly before Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril’s announcement to his nation that the moment so many had waited for had come, a U.S. official said. The White House and State Department were expected to release official responses later Thursday,” Obama said, according to the Associated Press. “You have won your revolution,” he continued, “One of the world’s longest-serving dictators is no more.”
In Tripoli, celebrations are already underway with gunfire and honking. “We’ve heard quite a lot of celebratory gunfire,” Caroline Hawley reports for the BBC.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton visited Libya on Tuesday to offer a new aid package. She told students during a gathering in Tripoli, “We hope [Gaddafi] can be captured or killed soon so that you don’t have to fear him any longer.”
Gaddafi was ousted from power in August, and his whereabouts have been unknown for months. The Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, accused Libya’s former ruler of crimes against humanity.
Reuters is also reporting that an official from the National Transitional Council, Libya’s interim government, has confirmed the death of Abu Bakr Yunis Jabr, Gaddafi’s Minister of Defense.
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.
On Muammar Gaddafi and Libya
The issue in Libya is gaining so much steam now and is being covered everywhere. Well here is our facebook discussion on the matter. After watching the clip below, a few people had something to say.
He speaks the truth you know
Aero Max says:
this is a non bias truth in a transparent form… i subscribe to this all the way, those people lack nothing, if nigerianz enjoys half of what libyans are enjoying from their goverment, i am very sure non of us will complain even if they stay for the whole generation.. the funny thing is that even at its worst .we are not doing anything about it.. who gives a damn about DEMOCRACY ? when it cannot deliver basic amenities. ALL we need is A Government that can deliver to its people what their basic needs are. who cares if it is AUTOCRACY or WHATEVER.
Aero I am damn with u…If Nigeria a democratic country where the government is been change every four or five years they dont enjoy up to half of wht the Libyans are enjoying in their country,then they call Gaddafi tyrant. Equatorial Guinea,formerly Spanish Guinea.In that country they make money from oil just like in Kuwaite, the population there is not up to one million,they dont have hospitals there,no good schools,last week my friend that went there on an ong works say they weren’t there eggs to buy.their president Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo assumed office 3 august 1979,I am sure the Eu and United States dont know that country exists,but they buy oil from them.
I mean what is this business of America to the world? This country is going through a lot already. This man is a man of truth. I sometimes get buttered by his words, because at one point I fall into it. Why is Obama allowing these people to push him. Obama should be smart enough to know to get this statement that Hillary Clinton said and I coauthor ” I will not be a secretary of state any more if Obama wins”. now you are invading Libya, what for? I was saying on buni the other time that, the people of Libya are very stupid… and I will say it blank here, Qaddafi is trying to unit the whole of Africa and he is moving in the right direction. And this is a treat to the western world. When the conference was held in Ghana, almost a common conclusion came into agreement, until ivory coast opted to send a concern letter to it’s allied to before they could do something. What happened? Aint they into tribal war over governance? Until when shall the black man learn. But I am telling you, this is all a aim at Saudi Arabia…but if America wants, they should try and see… it’s very sad… but God is our helper… Long Live Africa, Long live Ghana.
HANS, I started nodding my head while reading your post and I continued nodding it till I reached a certain point. Please Sir, how is Ghadaffi trying to unite all Africa and how is that a threat to the Western world? This man has been in power for 42 years and has not united anything. Now that his overthrow is imminent, you tell me he is trying to unite the world?
AEROMAXX, I agree with you. It began an argument yesterday where I told them that it is better for your country to return to military rule. It seems the other side of the fence (civilians) are not better either.