International

Libya: The monster flees

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“The universal pursuit of dignity and freedom is far stronger than the iron fist of a dictator.”

That was how Barack Obama welcomed the entry of rebels into Libya marking what many see as the end of the brutish regime of Muamar Gaddafi. Obviously, Obama is happy that the tyrant is gone.

I share in his joy.

Gaddafi simply had to go. No single individual has the power to rule any nation – unchallenged – for four decades. But with his severe restrictions on liberties and politics, Gadafi managed to keep Libya under his claws for so long, crushing anyone who dared to demand freedom. But there is an end to every bad thing.

Gaddafi was bad. He was evil. His evil was on full display when the Arab Spring reached Libya and mass protests started gathering momentum, with thousands taking to the streets to demand reforms. He sent his tanks in to crush the protesters, whom he liked to refer to as “rats”. He gave women and children guns to fight for him. He and his sons sentenced hundreds to death in a senseless war.

When the rebels rolled into Tripoli, the junior Gadafis didn’t even bother to put up a fight. They just fled. Gaddafi senior, it seems, just took to disappeared – fizzled into thin air, leaving the entire world wondering “where the hell is Gaddafi?”

The president has suddenly become a fugitive. The rat hunter has now become the rat who needs to be tracked down and hunted. Maybe, he fled into another country. Maybe, he is hunkered in some hole somewhere. Remember Sadam? Perhaps, he’s is just preparing for his last stand.

Whatever the case may be, this is surely the end of Gaddafi. I am happy to see him go. I am happy for the people of Libya. They can, at the very least, now plan to start enjoying the little freedoms I enjoy here in Ghana – democracy, the freedom to speak my mind, the right to get online and talk to anyone I want, the right to participate in a democratic debate and the right to criticize my leader without the fear of being thrown in jail without trial.

These things we take for granted have been denied the people of Libya for the better part of four decades. Now they can swim in freedom and dignity. Those who think Gaddafi shouldn’t have been gotten rid of in this manner should look for him and make him their leader on some land somewhere. It won’t take them long to appreciate the value of freedom.

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