Sunday, October 30, 2011

'Don't shoot me' , pleaded Muammar Gaddafi on 20 October 2011

'Don't shoot me'

'Don't shoot me' is the last words of the 42 - year ruler of Libya, Muammar Gaddafi.

Reports can 't even agree how Gaddafi gets killed. Some said he was shot dead by one soldier. Others said he was beaten to death. A video shows the surrounding people pushed Gaddafi around and beat him with boots - an act of extreme humiliation reserved for slaves and prostitutes in Arab culture. Already half covered in blood, Gaddafi stumbled, fell down, pleaded his last words 'Don't shoot me'. 

What is confirmed is his public display in a freezer, not in a crystal coffin like Mao. The purpose, according to the authority, is to let the public views his dead body to confirm his death and this attracted people driving hundreds of mile to view it. This is the destiny of a leader who ruled Libya for more than 40 years. 

What does it mean? It's a triumph of people. The Jasmine Revolution shows dictatorship regime is like tofu, collapse by the slightest exertion of pressure, either internally or externally. It shows the power of the people in overthrowing a regime of dictatorship.

This is not a mere orthodoxy because I heard people around me saying it was Americans who stirred up all the trouble. In fact, it was America who lost out the most for losing Gaddafi, a stable ally, for providing steady supply of oil. While NATO did orchestra air strike campaigns, it is the people, armed with nothing but dignity, who started the revolution. Those who denies this capacity of people speak with their Qing pigtails still on their heads.

This triumph, however, is not spotless. The ways Gaddafi died left a deep black hole in this triumph. It amounts to a disgrace to how people, in the midst of euphoria, can humiliate and execute a helpless human, like cats ripping open a struggling rat.

What will the future be depends on people. With this displayed cruelty, Chip Tsao (陶傑) humorously commented that Libya will need her colonial lover, Italy, to bring back some democracy, instead of following the old unenlightened path of tribalism and racism (the article is available here)

His idea is not without merits. Only through genuine representative democracy, Libya can achieve a better future. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I understand that an authoritarian like Gaddafi deserved to be removed from office by the people. But as Dr Shen said, he at least represented the country's dignity and may deserve better treatment like fair trial and at very least, less inhumane execution. I really doubt if the Libyan peple, who cannot even tolerate an exiled leader and his camp, can build genuine democracy in the region. And I heard that the extreme Islamists in the East are going to grab the power. The Italian rearrival at Libya may not be necessary, but it's not that bad if Libya can become more Western.