Posted on 21-10-2011
Filed Under (Current Affairs, Foreign Policy) by Rashtrakut

This blog has been dormant for a while, but the graphic images from Sirte has shaken it out of its stupor.  Perhaps for the first time since Baghdad residents got to vent their anger on the corpse of Nuri as Said in 1958, has a middle eastern mob had a similar opportunity against a despised and hated leader.  A year ago the graphic videos from Libya were unthinkable.  A few months ago with his tanks at the gates of Benghazi it looked like the 41 year rule of the mercurial dictator would survive the Arab Spring.  And then NATO with the fig-leaf of Arab support got involved and the “Northern Alliance” strategy finally bore fruit.

And then the hunt for the deposed tyrant began.  The end was pathetic.  As his hometown of Sirte finally fell to his enemies the wounded Gaddafi was dragged from his hiding place (a drain pipe).  As the fallen dictator pleaded for mercy he met his end soon after in murky circumstances.  Cell phone videos of a bleeding Gaddafi are available for anybody willing to conduct a Google search.

The rest of the Gaddafi clan is either captured, dead or has fled (warning gruesome pictures in link).

Apart from one expected quarter, Gaddafi goes to his grave unmourned.  His legacy is broken, factitious oil rich tribal mish-mash bunched under a new/old national flag.   Libya faces an uncertain future once the euphoria over the lynching in Sirte fades.

Also uncertain is the future of NATO.  The French and the British wanted this operation, but soon discovered that they could not sustain a campaign against a fourth rate military without access to the American arsenal.  Former Defense Secretary Bob Gates departed with a well timed salvo at Europe questioning the worth of an alliance where only one country carries the weight.  The solution from Congressional hawks appears to be to bankrupt the United States by continuing to sustain 40% of global military spending alone.  A reappraisal of American military commitments and spending is long overdue.

With the specter of their crazy leader gone, the people of Libya sleep easier tonight.  So do perhaps diplomats in a land of cheese, chocolates and banks.


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