It Couldn’t Happen to a Nicer Guy: The Final Days of the Gadhafi Regime in Libya « The Socjournal

Colonel Muammar Gadhafi’s days as Libya’s overlord are fast coming to a close. For an astonishing 41 years the people of Libya have been subjected Gadhafi’s abusive reign. However, seizing upon the revolutionary fervor that is sweeping through North Africa, the Libyan people have surged into the streets to demand an immediate end to the Gadhafi regime. Three cheers for the good people of Libya!

As has been the case with other regional tyrants, Gadhafi has responded to demands for his ouster with shock and outrage. Having long grown accustomed to the abuse of power, the will of the people means nothing to Gadhafi. As such, Gadhafi has declared that he will die a martyr before relinquishing control over Libya. Since reason has never been one of Gadhafi’s strong suits, there is little hope that Gadhafi will take stock of the situation and work toward a peaceful, statesmanlike resolution.

Not a chance.

Having been thoroughly marinated in the bitter brine of authoritarianism, Gadhafi can only countenance one answer to the populist challenge that he faces: bloodshed. A dictator does not negotiate with his opposition, he crushes it.
Of course, for Gadhafi, there really is no other option. His crimes have been so appalling–for example, we learned today that, among many other offenses, Gadhafi himself ordered the 1988 Lockerbie bombing–Gadhafi has little reason to believe that, should he be ousted, those who rise to power will be disposed to pardon him for his many sins. No, for Gadhafi, maintaining power is literally a life and death struggle. And Gadafi has already declared that he will not go quietly into that dark night.

Reports indicate that Gadhafi has called in thousands of mercenaries to inflict terror on those who would presume to oppose him. Nice. A truly fitting end to Gadhafi’s malevolent regime. Hopefully, the mercenaries will get a clue and realize that this really is the end. If they fight for Gadhafi, then they will not only be fighting against the good people of Libya, but they will also be fighting against the tide of history.

I sincerely hope that the mercenaries will quickly gain a better grasp of the historical moment that they are facing than Gadhafi. A tide of political change is sweeping through North Africa and, though Gadhafi would like to hold back the tide, neither one man nor five thousand mercenaries could possibly hope to do so.

It is time for Gadhafi to face the music and, more importantly, it is high time for a new political era in Libya.

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Posted by Timothy McGettigan on April 5, 2011.

Tags: dictators, Genocidal maniacs

Categories: Columnists, Featured Articles, Global Studies, Timothy McGettigan