|The notorious dictator has been deposed and buried. However, the|
prospects for real peace and democracy in Libya are as dim as ever.
By: Riccardo Dugulin
While the images of Muammar Gaddafi’s lifeless body being dragged through the streets continue to shock the world, the future of Libya and the North African region remains bleak. The ousting of a tyrant who oppressed his people for 42 years, openly supported and executed some of the most heinous terrorist attacks, and encouraged despicable criminal acts against his own civilians is certainly is a positive development. However, the aftermath of Gaddafi’s death may have shown some proof that Libya’s long-term future may not bode well for those seeking peace and democracy in the region.
On Thursday October 20th Muammar Gaddafi was shot dead by a disorganized unit of Libyan rebels. As Bernard Henri Lévy remarked in a recent article, revolutions more often than not pass through the violent death of the man in power against whom they are directed. Louis XVI, Tsar Nicholas II, Benito Mussolini and Ceausescu are notorious examples. Yet in a war that has been presented as the triumph of international law over autocratic despotism, such a killing highlights the real nature of the Libyan conflict. Even Saddam Hussein hanging in a squalid room by Shi’a militiamen had a feeling of justice as he was tried in front of an Iraqi tribunal, in which he had the opportunity to speak for himself and defend his actions.
A number of issues remain unresolved in what is now commonly referred to as the "liberated" Libya. The political form its institutions will take, the country's international standing, or the possibilities of a establishing a lasting stability there are only a few among many other uncertainties. What is clear from now is that the romantic rhetoric that would have seen a candid citizens’ uprising liberate its people from the grasp of a tyrant and then swiftly make the transition to a peace –oriented democracy may not see the light of day, and for a number of reasons.