The rebel/revolutionary forces in Libya and the NATO forces still fighting there have gotten their man. Ghadafi is - finally and thankfully - dead. As long-time readers of this blog no doubt know, my brother was one of the 270 who lost their lives when Pan Am 103 was blown from the sky over Lockerbie, Scotland by a bomb that originated with Libyan terrorists. Abdel Baset al-Megrahi was the Libyan agent convicted in the bombing, and unfortunately, at more than two years after he was given "three months to live" with prostate cancer and given "compassionate release" he remains alive in Libya. But the man who gave the order, the long-time dictator in Libya, is dead.
Thousands of Libyans poured on to the streets of the capital on Thursday, ecstatic at the news that Muammar Gaddafi had been killed in his birthplace of Sirt. As depicted in several cellphone video images, it was a violent and gruesome death for a man who had ruled this country with an iron fist for 42 years.
Like I wrote, it couldn't happen to a more deserving guy.
After an hour and a half of unconfirmed reports, the news came on at about 3.30 p.m. that Gaddafi was indeed dead. Footage on Al Jazeera Television, showed a bloodied Gaddafi being dragged by his arms on the street toward a vehicle. Images also showed Gaddafi's body, apparently killed in gunfire, his eyes rolled back lifeless. In the lobby of the Radisson Blu Hotel, where many rebel officials, as well as foreign journalists, have been based for weeks, many Libyans doubled over, weeping, overcome with emotion.
Many of the family members of the victims of the Pan Am 103 bombing are emotional as well.
Hussein. Ghadafi. Castro. Chavez. Jong-Il. Dictators, particularly the murderous ones, can survive a long time. When they are gone they are not mourned by their people (unless, as in North Korea after the death of Kim Il-Sung they are forced to by the next dictator). Rather, their deaths are celebrated. They are only mourned by those who romanticize the ideals of their supposedly idyllic society while refusing to see the terror, fear, oppression, want and hatred that lies just beneath a false veneer of majesty.
Here's my first December 21st post, from back in 2004, on the occasion of the 16th anniversary of Pan Am 103. An excerpt:
Sixteen years ago today Pan Am 103 was blown from the skies over Lockerbie Scotland, taking with it as it fell the lives of 259 passengers and 11 Scots on the ground. One of the passengers was my brother. I will be annually reposting my first post on this date, in memory of my brother. He was 22. I can think of nothing more vital in this world than defeating the terrorists so that other families will not have to go through what my family, and the other families of the Pan AM 103 victims, have gone through.