The morning after the revolution
It is clear that the Gaddafi clan will fail. What will follow?
From where will come the government of national reconciliation? The jubilation of success will only last until the realization that the economy must be normalized, the repatriation of national assets accomplished. The technocrats who provide the management infrastructure must be restored.
People must go back to work. Food must be put into the mouths of the people whose blood has washed the streets of Benghazi and Tripoli. There are widows and orphans, mothers and children to be fed.
The exhilaration of victory must give way to practicality. The foreign technicians must return to train the new Libyans to run their own country. Peace and brotherhood must be restored.
Libya needs a truth commission to heal the wounds and reunite the people. At the same time the criminals who participated in the rape of Libya must be held to account.
The End Game
Is it possible for Muammer Gaddafi to leave Libya and retire as a footnote to history. I think not. Given the asceticism, the messianic sense of mission shown by Gaddafi over the years, the current (2011) picture of Gaddafi as distracted, rambling, and detached affect is not surprising to me.
I am not a psychologist but as Bob Dylan has noted “I doesn’t take a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.” Solitary retreats to the desert and fasting are known methods to reach beyond the ordinary and transcend to commune with the universe.
Gaddafi is at a unique stage of his life (as was Socrates so many years ago). He has a vision of the world in which he saw his role as an anointed savior of the arab world and now he is old. Many of the pleasures of youth are undoubtedly lessened though he still believes the vision he had in the tent in the desert so many years ago.
I believe, like Socrates, Jesus, and others, he will attempt to die a martyr for his vision. He may, in his mind, already have ascended. – carlos
Gaddafi developed an idea for a People’s Congress during a five-month solitary retreat to the desert in 1974. It is the product of what he calls the Third Universal Theory (the other two being capitalism and Communism). As outlined in his single-chapter Green Book, the theory rejects democratic representation in favor of direct participation by the masses. Municipalities, trade unions and professional groups establish committees, which in turn choose delegates to the congress “by consensus.”
Gaddafi’s messianism has had its advantages. His personal asceticism—he lives in army barracks and rides around Tripoli in a humble white Peugeot —keeps a lid on the nouveau riche excesses that have plagued Saudi Arabia. Some observers are worried about the immigration of Libyans from the desert to the cities. Says one Western diplomat: “These people are desert nomads. There’s danger that they’ll become disoriented by urban life and indolent with their riches. Gaddafi is trying to combat this with a religious, revolutionary fervor—with unknown success.” Read more at Time (1976)…
“In the movie reel of his imagination, he sees himself standing alone in the desert, silhouetted against the moon, swathed in traditional Bedouin robes, a farsighted prophet of Islam and the mighty creator of the Great Arab Nation, stretching from the warm Persian Gulf to the dark Atlantic Ocean–a nation that would eclipse the West in power and glory and purity. Muammar Gaddafi is not a man of modest ambitions. Nor one without a sense of backlighting.
But his messianic vision, like the turbans in which he wraps himself, does not camouflage his vicious methods and his ruthless fanaticism. He believes his own erratic ends are justified by any means, however bloody. He has become the modern-day incarnation of the Society of Assassins, which flourished from the 11th to the 13th century in the Middle East, only his victims are random and spread over the entire map. The primary tool of his effort to achieve Islamic unity and the elimination of Israel is terrorism. Gaddafi regards himself not only as the last great hope of pan-Islam but as the scourge of the West, which he fervently believes has humiliated the Arab world for centuries. It is a humiliation he intends to avenge.” http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,961139,00.html