[The Australian, Australia]

[Click here for More Cartoons]



Berliner Zeitung, Germany

Dispense with Regrets Over Qaddafi's Killing


"Qaddafi in prison and on trial would likely have given him every opportunity to continue to incite unrest and confusion. In the end he would probably have adjusted to his role as defendant and would have used the dock as a platform for his infamous speeches. A quick glance at neighboring Egypt, where Hosni Mubarak's trial has been stumbling along for months, should be warning enough."


By Julia Gerlach


Translated By Stephanie Miller


October 20, 2011


Germany - Berliner Zeitung - Original Article (German)

At Friday prayer at Martyrs Square in Tripoli, people have more reason than usual to be thankful, Oct. 21.


BBC NEWS VIDEO: Libyan authorities announce Qaddafi death probe, Oct. 25, 00:01:39RealVideo

First, the death Muammar al-Qaddafi is sufficient cause for a party. It is to be hoped that this will reinvigorate the Arab Spring.


No sooner had Libyan television confirmed the news than gunshots rang out in Tripoli, and in Benghazi, people flocked together. General Muammar al Qaddafi is dead. In Libya and many cities around the Arab world, people celebrated. And rightly so. The end of the Qaddafi era is cause for jubilation for everyone in the region. Or perhaps we should say, almost everyone.


For Bashar al-Assad, Ali Abdullah Saleh and other Arab leaders of the old school that remain in power, this is a black day. It makes clear to them that their end is also near. In recent weeks, they had to a small degree regained the upper hand and were able to keep the protest movements in check. Egypt's military government is slowly but surely expanding its power, the Syrian government has repeatedly escaped intense global pressure and Ali Abdullah Saleh has been holding out on his people for weeks.


The trendsetter of this strategy of confusion was Qaddafi, who has survived the seven-month NATO operation and successfully led Transitional Council troops around by the nose. Again and again they stormed buildings in the search for the fugitive dictator, first by besieging neighborhoods in Tripoli and later entire cities in the cases of Bani Walid and Sirte. The game of hide-and-seek could have damaged Qaddafi’s reputation, but almost no one commented that was unworthy of him it was to hide like a dog. Rather, he had acquired a reputation as the Almighty and Omnipresent, seeming capable of anything.


Recently, when fighting broke out anew in Tripoli, many suspected it was ordered by Qaddafi. It was also thought that he had incited dissension among the tribes, and some even predicted that he would make a successful comeback or at least permanently prevent Libya from making a fresh start. How much more evidence is needed to prove that an Arab dictatorship is hard to eradicate? Qaddafi’s message to his fellow dictators is clear: Whatever you do, don’t give up! But his strategy failed to ensure his survival. Transitional Council fighters - backed by NATO bombers - threw a wrench into the works. Fortunately.


Now of course there are regrets being expressed. It is said that Qaddafi got off too cheaply in his battle to the death. They say they wanted him to stand trial; either before an international tribunal or in a Libyan court. They also would have liked to see those who helped him over the years stand trial - both his supporters in Libya and in Europe and the United States. After all, in recent years, relations had become increasingly close and criticism of Qaddafi’s style of governance increasingly inaudible. Such a trial would undoubtedly have brought a lot of interesting information about European politics to light. It is a pity that this will not happen, but there is a positive aspect: Qaddafi in prison and on trial would likely have given him every opportunity to continue to incite unrest and confusion. In the end he would probably have adjusted to his role as defendant and used the dock as a platform for his infamous speeches.


Example of a disaster: Egypt


A quick glance at neighboring Egypt, where former President Hosni Mubarak's trial has been stumbling along for months, bringing chaos instead of clarification, should be warning enough. Key prosecution witnesses have retracted their testimony against Mubarak and are now making statements to the contrary. With their thousand-and-one claims, lawyers are turning the courtroom into a stage for an absurdist play. Proceedings like these serve neither the search for truth nor promote a belief in democracy and the rule of law among people who have lived for decades under a dictatorship. So perhaps there is yet another cause for celebration in the fact that Libya - thanks to the assassination of Qaddafi - will be spared a comparable catastrophe.  



But the most important thing of all is that there is a celebration at all. Finally there is a reason to celebrate again. In the past few weeks, there frustration among young people in the Arab revolutions was growing. They too observed how the dictators has increasingly regained their confidence and apparently weren't even dreaming of stepping down. Even U.S. philosopher Gene Sharp, the intellectual instigator of the Arab revolts and whose works were devoured by activists in the region, remarked in his handbook for the peaceful overthrow of dictators that celebrations are extremely important. Even the smallest victory should be celebrated, for joy gives people courage. And courage is something that the Arab Spring desperately needs more of. 




opinions powered by SendLove.to
blog comments powered by Disqus








































[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US, Oct. 25, 6:29pm]


Bookmark and Share