No Mercy, No Quarter

Ahmad Barqawi
Activist Post

This time he was not surrounded by his bizarre entourage of all-female security teams, advisers and “business partners”, not a single familiar face in sight, he was surrounded by his people alright, the Libyan people, but the usual idolizing chants of “Allah, Muammar, Libya wa Bas” his ears got so accustomed to hearing were no more; instead he was showered with an avalanche of slurs, insults and the occasional slap.

His former friends were nowhere to be found also; where was the wily Tony Blair when he needed him the most? How about pal Berlusconi? and Comrade Sarkozy? The US$ 1 million contribution to the Frenchman’s presidential campaign must have been a bad investment after all; money not so well spent, just like everything he did and every decision he made to warm his way back into the West’s sweet embrace; just a bad investment.

In an instant of a NATO-air strike; his green world was painted red; and the western-packed “rats” he once vowed to rid Libya of chased after him into a sewer pipe of all places, then everything was caught on tape and the entire world got to witness first hand the frightening mob-mentality of Libya’s new leaders, a brief distorted glimpse into the future of an oil-rich African country was caught on tiny cell-phone cameras; and it was a terrifying sight.

Only in death and humiliation was the “Mad Dog of the Middle East” finally humanized after years of demonization, character assassination and ridicule — some of which he rightly deserved after more than four decades of deviant and ruthless despotic rule. U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton reportedly demanded his head on a platter; and she got her way.


Bringing him alive was not an option; because that could have thrown a wrench into things; what if he talked? Gaddafi was known to be a loose canon and a very talkative figure, what if he spilled the beans on CIA black sites and rendition practices during his short-lived honeymoon with Washington and its endemic war-on-terror? Or about his former cronies-turned-revolutionaries? That could have very well proven to be an even bigger debacle than WikiLeaks, but a bullet to the head was sufficient enough to keep all those dirty little secrets tucked away for now. 

Some will say this is a fitting end to a bloody dictator, well of course; I mean the guy allegedly distributed Viagra tablets to his soldiers and his “African mercenaries” so that they would go on mass-raping sprees in the streets of Libyan cities. Well at least with his horrifying death; International Criminal Court chief prosecutor Mr. Luis Moreno Ocampo will have a load off his desk; maybe he’ll finally have enough time to look into George W. Bush’s rape of Iraq instead.

I’m sure this ghastly scene of Colonel Gaddafi’s murder along with the utter destruction of Sirte, the lynching of blacks and NATO’s bloody involvement in Libya altogether will be brushed off as just a tiny dark stain on the Arab Spring’s white dress, just like the Maspero massacre in Egypt. How can something so pure and so hopeful transform — and in a matter of mere months nonetheless — into this bleak landscape of death and ruin, of neo-imperialism cloaked under the elusive caveat of humanitarian interventions, this is what a democracy at the point of a gun looks like; bombing the hell out of innocent children in the city of Sirte to “protect” the children of Benghazi, each NATO missile dropped on Libyan soil was — oddly enough — pregnant with hope and a promise of “victory” for some Western-backed “revolutionaries” and sorrow and devastation for the rest of the population, this is how you sow the seeds of division and discord in a third world country.  

Now the “Leader” is dead, mutilated and his corpse wantonly dragged through the streets amid jubilant cheering crowds, mission accomplished indeed and the “Responsibility to Protect” has been achieved by compromising the very safety of those whom were supposed to be the subject of protection. Will the new Libya be able to disentangle itself from the West’s cobweb of control when NATO countries rush back knocking on its doors to collect their debt?

In a press conference on October 20th; U.S. President Barack Obama said on Gaddafi’s death: “Our skilled diplomats have helped to lead an unprecedented global response. Our brave pilots have flown in Libya’s skies, our sailors have provided support off Libya’s shores, and our leadership at NATO has helped guide our coalition.”  Translation: these ragtag bunch of “Rebels” couldn’t do a thing on their own, and now it’s time to get to business, we’ll be sending you a bill of our “services rendered”; expect our American oil companies to invest all over your country, thank you.

Some will say this is a fitting end to a murderous tyrant, but is this really a fitting beginning to a new “revolutionary” Libya? God help us if it is.

Ahmad Barqawi, a Jordanian freelance columnist & writer based in Amman, he has done several studies, statistical analysis and researches on economic and social development in Jordan

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