And so Muammar Gadhafi is dead which wasn’t really much of a surprise. It was only a matter of time before he was found. He was found in a sewer near his home town of Sirte, just like a rat – the word he used to describe the citizens of his country. The fact that he didn’t even make it to a court of justice for his crimes against humanity is not much of a surprise either. Why are people surprised? He was hit, shot in the head by one of the fighters. His body was dragged around by the hair. If anyone knows how the people of Libya suffered during his 42 year dictatorship, they would not be surprised. Today, most of the people of Libya are happy.
The adrenaline must have been running high when the fighters found him. He was alive at that time, begging for his life. If you’ve angered and hurt a nation for 42 years, why would you expect mercy at that time? It was a major victory for the fighters to find Gadhafi. 42 years of anger and rage has festered. You’ve captured the prize. No surprise he was shot in the head after being captured alive. Think of the nature of human nature.
Last night on TV I watched the people of Libya lining up to get a glimpse of the bodies of Gadhafi and his son in a Misrata meat fridge displaced for public viewing . Yes, it’s become a freak show. People want to see if Gadhafi is really dead. It’s disrespectful too, but there isn’t much respect left for a dictator when his crimes against humanity form an endless list in a nation. Women, children and men all lined up for a chance to see the dead dictator and his son in the fridge.
None of this surprises me. What is most surprising was the human rights spokespersons who are surprised by what has happened. Yes, it would have been ideal that Gadhafi be tried in a court of law, especially in a nation which must now begin their experiment with democracy. It might even have been very satisfying for the people of Libya to watch that trial which would, no doubt, have led to a sentence of death. This would have been ideal. But war and rebellion are not ideal states of mind.
For those who are surprised, they shouldn’t be surprised. One has to consider that in the anger of the moment (preceded by 42 years of oppression and suppressed rage), in the heat of battle with adrenaline running high at the moment of capture, someone would shoot Gadhafi in the head. It would be naïve to think that the outcome would have turned out differently.
Muammar Gadhafi’s son Saif al Islam Gadhafi is still on the run. The outcome, if he’s found and when he is found, will probably be the same. One expects also that the other dictators in the Middle East, Basher Assad of Syria and Yemen’s Ali Abdullah Saleh have probably not had a good night’s sleep since Thursday.