by Omar Shtewi
The dictator is dead. The Libyan people have endured 42 years of degradation at the hands of a monster. Torture. Disappearances. The theft if billions of dollars of the national wealth to fund the extravagant lifestyle of the Gaddafi family.
No doubt, Tripoli and Benghazi will ring loud with celebration well into the night. But in the morning, the Libyan people will have much to consider.
Was it right to kill Gaddafi? In so doing, have the Libyan people, in effect, snatched defeat from the jaws of victory? Many will argue that Gaddafi’s bloody demise is just. But where is the justice for the thousands of victims of his decades-long rule? The mothers yet to know where their long-dead sons are buried? Fathers, brothers, sisters lost in the literal oblivion of secret mass-graves who may never be found?
No doubt many powerful people around the world will breathe a sigh of relief that the butcher is dead. His patrons in the US, Britain and other countries will sleep easy knowing that Gaddafi will take their secrets to his grave. Along with the numbered accounts where he has stashed the wealth of the Libyan people.
Libya should hope for an investigation into what can only justly be described as an extra-judicial killing. They should hope that the Gaddafi era will be pored over by lawyers and accountants for decades to come so that the Libyan people can experience the true catharsis that only the full outing of the truth can provide.
Until such investigations start, I share an element of relief with my fellow Libyans. I also look suspiciously to the future and hope that the Libya that emerges from the ashes of the tyrant’s rule will be characterised by immense prosperity, peace, unity and strength and that any vultures circling that fabulously wealthy country will be shot down before they can turn it into Saudi Arabia.