Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Death of Muammar Qadhafi and the Upcoming Darker Times in Libya

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I connected to the internet on Friday to see different news websites plastered with news articles, videos, and analysis about the capture and eventual (albeit quite controversial) killing of Muammar Qadhafi. The death of the once-strong leader of Libya is a pivotal point in the campaign of the revolutionary forces who took up arms against the more-than-forty-year-old regime. To some extent, the revolution is somewhat serendipitous, as the revolutionary forces have different strongholds in different towns in Libya – some eventually falling to the Qadhafi forces and some eventually getting recaptured by the revolutionists. Such erratic campaigns have discouraged outside backings for the rebel forces (which should have meant a shift to diplomatic sort of reconciliation for this war-torn country) but Qadhafi’s capture put a cap to these misgivings.

But darker times are already seen in Libya, for unlike some of the revolutions I have followed in the history books there was no prominent leader (or a prominent group) who/which could direct the reorganization of the government of the country. I can put forward a naïve parallel comparison to Cuba, which at least had Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, and Raul Castro who led the campaigns during the Cuban Revolution and when the regime they sought to topple (that is, Batista’s government) has fallen, they eventually emerged as the new leaders of Cuba, something which was more or less expected by the rest of the revolutionary forces there. The same cannot be easily said of Libya as the people who form the collective revolutionary forces came from different tribes (and if I may venture to say, religious sects). That would be quite a headache for the National Transitional Council (NTC) which, according to some analysts, is also divided into factions.

In any case, the bloodbath would surely be significantly lowered as the focus would now turn to the building of the country’s national government. It also certain that the circumstances regarding the death of Qadhafi would be the topic of future historical inquiries and investigations. One only has to watch the few videos capturing the last few minutes of Qadhafi’s life to realize how difficult it would be to clearly write out the details of his death. But in the end, what is clear (and in fact somewhat ironic) is the way he died. He gained power through revolution and another revolution killed him in the end.

As an afterthought, it is only now that I got the chance to watch a bloody revolution from its start to its end (although the question if it is really the end is another story). But such things are not new anyway. History is replete with similar events. The only difference is this knowledge that one such revolution happened in my time. (Well, Enough of these random thoughts.)

Photo Credits: Yahoo! News / ABC News

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