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Gaddafi about to meet his maker?

The Jerusalem Post has noted a wire report from a Palestinian agency that the 'Guide of the First of September Great Revolution of the Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya / Brotherly Leader and Guide of the Revolution' "Muammar Gaddafi was rushed to the hospital Sunday after a blood clot was discovered in his brain, and is now in a coma".

Can't say I would don sackcloth and ashes if he departs this life, although he is by no means the worst ruler in the Middle East.


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Anonymous Nomad said... 9:51 am

Mr C, I spent something like 10 years of my life living and working in different parts of the Middle East (from Morocco to the Gulf)and like you I would not shed a tear if the Gaddafi pops his clogs. Many will though, including ex-IRA quartermasters, whom he kept in business for many years, plus a number of other "dissident" groups around the world. Despite a very lucky escape when the Americans bombed his house in Tripoli some years ago, it is only recently that he has apparently changed his ways. I also imagine that the relatives and friends of a certain innocent young policewoman gunned down in cold blood in London from the window of whatever it was the Libyans called their Embassy will be glad to see the back of him.

I am curious to know which Middle Eastern leader(s) you consider worse that Gaddafi, and why, and whether your readers would agree with you. Possible candidates I suspect include the Syrians and the Iranians, although people familiar with that part of the world will tell you that the ordinary people are on the whole very pleasant, friendly and easy going (although it does help to be able to speak a bit of the language). It is the regimes they live under which are the problem. Many are authoritarian, but I am not sure they could also be accused of condoning and openly encouraging and actively supporting violence as Gaddafi has done throughout his entire tenure in charge of Libya (a position he himself attained through a miltary coup!).  

Blogger Croydonian said... 10:12 am

Nomad - Indeed, Gaddafi has quite the track record, although it would appear that of late he has woken up and smelt the napalm. The Iranians, Syrians and especially the Sudanese have rather outpaced the Libyans as exporters of terror, bloodshed and mayhem, and we can ask some pointed questions about 'our friends the Saudis'. In terms of domestic horrors, Libya is hardly a liberal democracy, but is a good deal less brutal than others. As a point of reference, Freedom House rates Libya a double 7 for political rights and civil liberties (the lowest possible score), equalled by Sudan and Syria

I agree strongly with your broader point that vile regimes are not the fault of the victims who happen to live under them.  

Anonymous Nomad said... 11:31 am

Mr C, Thanks for your response. I thoroughly agree about the Sudanese; this militant Islam and Janjaweed nonsense is new and has only started since the election of fundamentalists to power. It was a great loss to that nation when John Garang (sp?) was killed in an air crash (which some speculate was no accident).

I think the Saudis are a bit of a mixture, whose main interest in life seems to be to preserve the al-Saud dynasty, along with the cash, (and possibly the Wahhabi (?sp) version of Islam). While undoubtedly the regime is riddled with corruption - absolute power corrupts absolutely! - I think the majority of Saudis are probably pro-Western, but there are of course some venal and disaffected extremists in their midst who, for their own reasons, would like nothing better than to bring the whole House of Saud crashing into the sand - which may go some way to explaining why the ruling elite know which side their pita bread is buttered on. To their credit, but doubtless more in thir own interests, the Saudi authorities do have regular crackdowns on the potential and actual troublemakers. I think it goes without saying that Osama BL is atypical of your everyday Saudi who, like everybody else, just wants to be left in peace to get on with his life.  

Blogger Newmania said... 12:00 pm

Interesting thread C  

Anonymous David Allen said... 12:01 pm

Too early to start popping corks, gentleman, it seems. Romano Prodi has just said that he spoke to Gaddafu by phone both last night and again this morning _ and that Gaddafi is rather bemused by all the rumours of his imminent demise!  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 2:01 pm

Good, I quite like the old devil.  

Blogger Newmania said... 2:11 pm

Odd coincidence that because I was wondering whether David Allen was still one of the quick. I wonder if his long absence will be explained by a new nose or an inexplicable sudden weightloss, Shouldn't be suprised  

Anonymous verity said... 4:17 pm

Won't he be surprised when he goes to meet his Maker, and God says, "Allah who?"  

Anonymous David Allen said... 4:30 pm

Newmania, If, from the lavish proceeds of the sale of your Islington manor, you would care to cough up a few grand, I will happily disappear for a few weeks and return with sudden (and aesthetically-pleasing) weightloss. (But there'd be less of you to love! they all cry....)  

Blogger The Hitch said... 10:22 pm

A man admired by both Anthony H Wilson and my uncle Alan for his Marxist chic.
The Hitch has a sneaking liking for the Colonel , harsh , brutal but with a sense of style and a high sex drive.
The sort of dictator that the Hitch would be if only given the chance.  

Anonymous Nomad said... 2:09 am

Hitch: Delusions of unbounded power and limitless oil wealth apart, I rather doubt you would take kindly to living in the middle of nowhere in an alcohol free, unsmoke-filled tent full of camels. You should stop giving your enemies ideas!  

Anonymous verity said... 3:14 am

Nomad - True in a sense, but a lot of opportunities for phone-camel foolery ...  

Blogger Croydonian said... 8:22 am

Verity - Very good. That raised a broad smile.  

Anonymous Nomad said... 12:59 pm

Yes, from me too. I bet the Hitch would look great in those curly-toed slipper thingies..  

Anonymous David Allen said... 10:29 pm

Apparently Gaddafi has a terrible flatulence problem, which would probably leave you wishing the tent were filled with nothing less noxious than tobacco smoke....  

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