Welcome to NATO’s Newest Colony, Libya
by Eric Margolis
After 43 years of eccentric, zany, or comical rule, underscored by Western charges of terrorism, it appears the era of Libya’s Col. Muammar Gadaffi, once called by Ronald Reagan, “the mad dog of the Middle East,” is over.
Col. Gadaffi has been the longest-ruling Arab leader. His sons, who were positioned to succeed him, are either captives or dead.
Gadaffi’s absurd, opera-bouffe costumes, his busty, pistol-packing female bodyguards, his silly antics and claims to be Libya’s “Brother Guide,”(he held no official position), his efforts to lead the Arabs, then black Africa, and his support of all sorts of revolutionary/terrorist groups made the Libyan colonel into the Arab world’s most colorful and controversial leader.
A score of attempts to kill Gadaffi have failed over the years. Israel, Egypt, the US, France, and Britain all sought to assassinate him. The US dropped a 2,000lb laser-guided bomb on his bedroom. It killed his two-year-old adopted daughter.
British intelligence, MI6, tried to kill Gadaffi for supporting the Irish Republican Army by detonated a powerful car bomb in Benghazi, killing a large number of civilians. France’s intelligence service, SDECE, secreted an altitude-fused bomb on Gadaffi’s private jet. All these attempts failed.
But now, it certainly looks as if Gadaffi has used up all his nine lives, and then some. As of this writing, he may still be holed up in his military headquarters at the Bab al-Azizya barracks where I spent a fascinating evening with him. Gadaffi led me by the hand through the ruins of his private quarters that still smelled of fire and smoke.