Dust to Dust… Ashes to Ashes… as Gaddafi learned the hard way
80% literacy, good economic conditions, liberal social norms…. Now isn’t that what people expect from their rulers? So then what is it that makes them hate someone who has given them all this and more… this is something the ‘benign’ dictators all over the world must ask themselves after seeing images of Moamar Gaddafi’s bloodied corpse being dragged around.
The Arab Spring which started from neighbouring Tunisia, which resulted in the ouster of its despot, and then the tumult in Tahrir square of Egypt that allowed the new generation of Egyptians see a face other than that of Hosni Mobarak as the leader ( how I hate that word… it should be ruler). It all boils down to choice… people want to have a choice, they want to be stakeholders in their own fate. An entire generation grew up having one man deciding what was good or bad for them. They have made it very clear that this was no longer tolerable.
The bitter and bloody fight for the right to take their own decisions has not come to an end. There is a long, troublesome, unclear road ahead for the agents of change in these societies that had known nothing but repression. One hopes that Gaddafi’s gory end, which is something disturbing as it sends all the wrong signals for the principles of accountability and justice, will not spill over into a vendetta degenerating into civil strife.
On the international level though, there are a couple of observations that really strike a chord; the intervention by the west, especially direct action by NATO through its fire power, on the side of the rebels against the very regimes they had installed and relied upon for ‘stability’ in the region is a clear opportunistic shift rather than a moral or political one. This region has oil!
Far more repressive regimes guilty of genocide are still sitting pretty in that very continent (Africa) that they now want to see as the bastion of democracy, despite being unsure of how the lucrative oil and rebuilding contracts will play out for the tottering economies of Europe. Who knows, ultimately we may all see the Chinese laughing all the way to the bank!
Another interesting point made by a journalist who says many in the US are saying that NATO and the Europeans, especially France have achieved regime change at far less a cost and in far less a time than the US has tried to do elsewhere. Now isn’t that something for Sarkozi to smirk about!
P.S When… oh when will PCB change the name of Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore!