One week ago the world looked at the death of Muammar Gaddafi. Very few people felt any sadness that this man had met his end but many felt unease about his means of exit from this world.
The circumstances of his death were shrouded in lies and different accounts but there was footage which was hard to ignore. Captured alive Gaddafi was, it appeared, taunted, attacked, humiliated and then executed without further ado.
The ensuing debate was not about Gaddafi but that such actions could happen in a modern world. It was all about people setting precedents which could affect the future. As an oppressor of his people the actions taken in the heat of the moment were maybe understandable, but that said they go against the basics of human rights.Then again there was also a feeeling of unease that maybe Gaddafi was killed in order to shut him up. It is fair to say that many people in high office in the Western World breathed a sigh of relief that
they did not have to address the issue of this ousted dictator.After what has become an international outcry about Gaddafi's killing the NTC, National Transitional Council of Libya, has now said that they will mete out justice. They claim it was their intention all along and has nothing to do with World pressure.
Abdel Hafiz Ghoga, vice chairman of the ruling National Transitional Council said,
"With regards to Gaddafi, we do not wait for anybody to tell us. We had already launched an investigation. We have issued a code of ethics in handling of prisoners of war. I am sure that was an individual act and not an act of revolutionaries or the national army. Whoever is responsible for that (Gaddafi's killing) will be judged and given a fair trial."With the NATO mission due to end in Libya this coming weekend there are still grave concerns. Russia's Vladamir Putin has expressed his digust at the excessive media coverage of Gaddafi's death. He is reported to have said,
"Almost the entire Gaddafi family was killed. His body was shown on all the world channels. You could not watch without disgust.What is that?" Putin exclaimed. "They show a bloodied man, wounded, still alive but getting beaten to death. And they splash that all over the screen."Many questions remain unanswered such as:
- Who will be tried for Gaddafi's death?
- Was the West complicit?
- What would the West have done if the boot was on the other foot, ie a Western person killed on air?
- Will NATO leave Libya now?
- If they do not how can they justify staying?
- If they do will Libya be able to cope?
- What will happen to Libya now?
- Was it all about oil, after all?
And so on, and on.......
Today October 23, 2011, Libya has held its official Liberation Ceremony. It seems that it took the death of ousted Colonel Gaddafi for the country to feel able to do this. With no-one left to fight for those once loyal to Gaddafi will have to call a day to hostilities.
Well that is the hope.
Of course there is so much work to be done. Already businesses in countries such as the UK and France will be putting forward tenders for the work needed to rebuild. Just who will be paying for all this remains to be seen. Libya has assets but some are still frozen in foreign lands. France and the UK may be hopig to beneift from their allegiance to the NTC but they will have to compete with other countries all waiting inn line.
Then there is the oil. Previously most of the plum jobs in the Libya oil fields were held by foreign nationals. This could of course change.
But today it is a time for celebration in Libya.
The ceremony was held in Benghazi the town that spearheaded insurgency early in this revolution. It heralds an end to the eight month hostilities and the reign of Gaddafi. The ceremony included songs which pre dated the Gaddafi revolution in 1969.
Sky News has reported that "Abdel Rahman al-Kabisi, minister of martyrs and the wounded, told the gathering that the event marked "a great historic moment in beloved Libya's history". "Oh pharaoh of the century [Gaddafi], you are now in the bin of history... In a stroke of fate... you have been thrown into the bin of history. Go to hell," he declared." Nicely put.
The current leader of the NTC told the tens of thousands who attended, "For more than 40 years we lived hostages to a tyrant who had a sick mind. "I promise you that the national army will be rebuilt [and you] will no longer take orders from tyrants. "Freedom is great. Its price is great ... so bite into it. Preserving it is more difficult than obtaining it." That's for sure.
One speaker referred to the Turks who today have suffered a massive earthquake. A heart warming gesture
Decent people everywhere will hope that the Libyan people can rebuild a better life for all. The West must let them do so and not interfere. The people have chosen a fresh start and it must be up to them what form this takes.
In those heady days, not so long ago, when a new Libya looked to be just around the corner, most people believed that Colonel Gaddafi and his followers would be long gone by this time. How wrong they were. It is now October 5, 2011 and the Transitional National Council of Libya, and its NATO forces, are no nearer to getting their hands on Gaddafi than they were months ago.
The news has gone pretty cold on Libya, and Libya is in danger of becoming just another forgotten conflict in just another forgotten country
Before the revolution in Libya it was probably easier to guess where Gaddafi and his cronies where. Since he and others have been on the run his location is hard to pinpoint. Forces have a few ideas of his whereabouts but little in the way of hard facts.In true "UK Del Boy" style Gaddafi continues to "duck and dive" his way out of the reach of his pursuers. It must be frustrating for many to say the least. A new peaceful Libya is of course possible even if Gaddafi remains elusive, but it may not last. One way or another Gaddafi and those loyal to him must be caught. It will then fall on whoever, to decide their fate.If they remain in hiding there is always the chance of a return, resurgence or continued upheaval. The lack of regular news reports means that Nato Forces and the TNC may not be having it all their own way. When they are, regular reports seem to flow constantly. Of course some of that is the propaganda war. The latest report from Reuters states that Gaddafi is determined he will not suffer the same fate as Saddam Hussein. Perhaps then, if the time and circumstances become right, he may instead choose to follow the path of Adolf Hitler. In the long run it would safe a lot of time, money, grief and effort.