Your home for intelligent conversation on the web
The Living Room General Muammar Gaddafi is dead. So what?
THINQon is a platform for a more intelligent web. It aims to replace the ruling paradigm of the web – that of sharing and gathering information – with a sharing and achieving of understanding. Instead of the Q&A model it offers an experience. A platform for discovery of ideas, people, and yourself.     Continue >
Muammar Gaddafi is dead. So what?
Mary the Queen of Scots was executed in 1587. Queen Elizabeth gave the order.  

Adolf Hitler shot himself dead at around 15:30 30 April 1945. By that time the Soviets were less than a kilometer from the house in which he was hiding.

There was an audible crack in Saddam’s neck as his body dropped dead at 06:00 local time in December 30th 2006.

Osama bin Laden was killed in Pakistan on may 2nd 2011 at around 1 am local time.

It is not clear to me whether Muammar Gaddafi was intentionally shot dead or it was an accident of the shootout. He is dead anyway, but so what?

It is nothing new in the history of the world and so is war and terror. What difference will it make in the world? That is my question.

Could someone with a wider knowledge of history help us look at it widely and within the context of terror, dictatorship, etc.
I truly don't know, Nyongessa.  I am answering here to acknowledge the question more than offering an answer. Mary of Scotland was executed to end a challenge to the Crown, Elizabeth, perhaps, but the other examples don't fit this reason.

Hitler saw no future in defending himself or the ambition of the Third Reich. He used cyanide and a pistol, taking no chances. Dealing with Bin Laden, Houssein, and Quaddafi as captives or prisoners was clearly more trouble than it was worth. At least Saddam got a day in court sort of, if only a Kangaroo court.
But I don't know that there was any sort of warrant out for Quaddafi's death and maybe it was an accident but I doubt it. What I take away from it is that there is no longer any real need for legal proceedings. The right to die may be questionable, but killing is not really problematic. We are used to it. Nobody really complains, certainly not the dead. 
I'm not an expert on the history of the Middle East / Near East / Maghreb, however, one can easily seem to be one nowadays thanks to the Internet. I leave it for you to judge.  What I do know  is that the 'Arab Spring' is changing the face of Arab history but there is no certainty as to what lies in store for the wider world. Tunisians deposed their dictator, Ben Ali, and will vote in free elections tomorrow. That's good news and let's keep our fingers crossed for them. Libyans just got rid of their megalomaniac dictator Gaddafi, with a little help from NATO. Those who live by the sword, die by the sword. Another tyrant down - so who's next? Syria, Iran ?

It is certain that the Arab world is short of the basic freedoms we in the West take very much for granted. They are mainly ruled by brutal despots who refuse make way for genuine democracies. Their people deserve better and time is on their side, but I wouldn't say that progress per se necessarily means that the 'end of history' is just around the corner. There are many geopolitical, ecological and public health dangers facing this planet of ours at this present moment.  Cautious optimism is better than cynical pessimism.

In response to Michael Gerson
I am not sure your analysis is quite on the button, Michael.   When you say "Libyans just  got rid of .... Gadaffi, with a little help from NATO" I am inclined to qualify that to:

"Some Libyans, probably a majority but not necessarily, just got rid of Gadaffi, which they would not have been able to do without NATO bombing (or without NATO "special forces" on the ground directing the NATO bombing operations, sometimes covertly inside Gadaffi strongholds - and they probably did a lot more besides that we'll never know about, too!)"

It was (in my estimation), more a civil war between the rebels and Gadaffi supporters, and not a true "popular uprising".  Had it been a simple popular uprising, Gadaffi would have fallen must sooner and not at all if NATO had kept out of the fight.
Join the Community
Full Name:
Your Email:
New Password:
I Am:
By registering at, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.
Discussion info
Latest Post: November 4, 2011 at 11:48 AM
Number of posts: 69
Spans 15 days

No results found.