Libya’s dictator and general thorn in the side of Western imperialistic aspirations, Muammar al-Gaddafi has this morning been pronounced dead, the result of a fighting convoy’s barrage of bullets as he was executed after being found in squalor.
It’s been a few months since a popular uprising first erupted in Libya, the result of sympathetic empathy for fellow Arabs in the pan Arab dish who starting late last year started taking to the streets to express their deep dis-sastisfaction with their governments, governments that they perceived being deeply corrupt, and insensitive to the catastrophic struggles of the ordinary lay men. Thus began the efforts to liberate themselves, from Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Syria. All of have now fallen except that of Syria, where henchmen have been quick to put any uprisings out with swift fatal retaliations.
With garish images of the deceased Muammar Gaddafi who had until the very end refused to cede power to the rebels (who were interestingly being backed by France from the get go and soon other European nations) flooding the web one has to now wonder what Mr Gaddafi’s death holds for the region? Can the rebels assume that they will be allowed to divide the country’s resources amongst them or will they too have to find ‘strategic deals’ with the west to ensure that they now stay in power and the west’s thirst for oil and political leverage in the region is satiated?
To understand what holds next for the nation perhaps an understanding of how Mr Gaddafi found himself on center stage is necessary. Self appointed in 1969 off the back of another domestic revolution in Libya at the time reacting to the autocratic rule of King Idris, most likely a puppet ruler courtesy of previous colonial rulers Italy and the overzealous influence of the French. Humiliated by the Arab world’s defeat at the hands of Israel, Gaddafi set out a program to unify Arab states and pursued an unorthodox Socialist Marxist campaign with his immediate relatives and various loyal army members in charge of state assets and programs. From there, Mr Gaddafi used his proximity to Libya’s vast oil reserves to fund international missions, that included supporting the IRA, Palestine and eventually terrorist missions such as the 1989 Lockerbie bombings whose agenda was to force Mr Gaddafi’s will on Western European leaders who by now were chaffing at the neck courtesy of a recalcitrant leader who refused to play to preferred scripts.
All along though Mr Gaddafi showed his political prowess by choosing to at times cede to Western demands whilst at home keeping a vigilant eye on any political dissent and immediately exterminating anyone he suspected of trying to usurp his authority. In fact Mr Gaddafi has been known to go so far as murdering Libyan dissidents living abroad to ensure sole autonomy of Libya with the complicit help of the West who would then call on Mr Gaddafi for favors. Except it seems as more time passed, Western states couldn’t be sure if Mr Gaddafi would be able to honor their pleas as he became increasingly irrational, megalomaniac and aspirational towards ancient Arab scriptures, whilst his offspring lived largely hedonistic Western styled lifestyles abroad, that included picnics with rock stars, lavish homes and vacations, visits to Hollywood, whilst most of Libya’s population looked on in disbelief and abject poverty, too afraid to call Mr Gaddafi out, until now.
To the very end Mr Gaddafi held out to the last breath of his life, intent on keeping all power to himself and preserving the ideology that he had spent the last 40 years cultivating for better or