Gadaffi is dead but Libya is very much alive (20 October 2011)

When I first heard the news earlier today that Gaddafi had been captured in Sirte I read it and took it with a slight pinch of salt.  I decided to let the story develop before getting too excited about it.  It was only a few short weeks ago that the NTC told us they’d captured Moussa Ibrahim and he was wearing women’s clothes at the time.  That proved to be false.

However, this story is different.  Gaddafi is, in fact, dead.  During a short break in my working day I watched the videos of Gaddafi being mauled by Libyan’s and the a video of his body being hoisted onto a car.  

The official word about his death is that he was killed while being caught up in crossfire.  Something about me doesn’t believe that. Watching the video of him being mauled around I am caught between two thoughts.  

Thought one is that by mauling Gaddafi and perhaps killing him it means that the people who did it are no better than he himself.  

Thought two is that the Libyan people sought and extracted justice for the thousands of Libyan’s Gaddafi has seen die or ordered the death of and for the Libyan’s who,  for one reason or another, have had to flee their country or face death.  Justice also for the people who were tortured, for the women raped and beaten.  

Should Gaddafi have been brought in alive and faced a trial in court? My opinion on that is no.  I’m aware of what I’m suggesting there, that his death is justified, it may or may not be.  His death is welcomed, I will say that and I have to wonder what a court case would have achieved.  That he is dead means that Libya doesn’t have to stagnate while wading their way through a lengthy and terrible court case.

Even if he had just been captured and not killed Thursday October 20 2011 would still have been a great day in the life of Libyan’s.  His death is perhaps even more than anyone hoped for but now Libya is in a dangerous place.  They are at that point where they either head along a road that takes them to democracy or they descend into chaos and lawlessness.

Libya is a different place from Iraq and Afghanistan beginning with how Gaddafi was ousted and Libya liberated.  NATO’s involvement in Libya really looks like it’s been the correct method.  By supporting the rebels (as they were known over the summer) rather than wading in and taking over, they have allowed Libyan’s to take the lead in liberating their own country.  Yes NATO made several strategic air strikes and provided intelligence and without them the NTC would not have succeeded but it was with grit and determination that the NTC fighters made their way through town and city freeing the people of Gaddafi control.

My feeling about Libya is that they will achieve democracy and they will achieve equal rights for the people of their country long before Iraq does and long before Afghanistan does.  It may be a rocky road but the people have Libya have not been forced into it by other countries, they asked for help because they wanted to do it and they are well on the road to being a free and liberated country.

Despite the fact that we don’t have a military ground presence in Libya, it’s important that NATO provides Libya with the help they need to achieve democracy and peace.  Let us not abandon them now because we see it as “job done”.  Perhaps we should look at Libya as a fledging country, a new country, and assist, with advice and help on how to move forward and move upwards.

Libya is a beautiful country and now a free country.  The positive possibilities for the people are many and I know we’ll see this country flourish.