No Tears for Ghadaffi

by Michael Oluwagbemi II

Much ado have been made

in the commentator and foreign policy circles in recent weeks about

the speed of the ultimate ouster of the mad man of Tripoli, Colonel

Ghadaffi. While many tears have been shed in the elite minded circles

of his friends, admirers and benefactors, no one among the common

people who suffered the sheer arrogance of his power and despotic

rule for 42 years seem to be shedding any; neither am I.

Ghadaffi was a

personification of everything wrong with African leadership that has

seen the continent retrogress in 40 years. A combination of greed,

arrogance of power, brutality and megalomaniac policy making; he was

Mobutu, Idi-Amin, Bokassa and Mugabe all rolled into one! His

insistence on clinging to power longer than he was welcome ensured

his countrymen suffered immense economic damages to which he showed

no sensitivity.

While power escaped from

his grasp, he could not come to terms with it and killed his people

needlessly. As usual, to this ruler (not leader), his hold to power

was more important than his lip service love for his country and her

people! And as power escaped him by the sheer will of Libyans backed

by the firepower of Ghadaffi’s perennial enemies in the West, the


man of Tripoli only became madder!

Some have risen in

condemnation of NATO’s intervention. Indeed, it is now the single

most fashionable stance by African dictators to hug nationalism and

African independence to perpetrate evil against their own.

Fortunately, the world is not buying it. For far too long, Africa has

been raped by her rulers acting like kids in the candy store without

any control. And in so far as these rulers continue to act like

children (and that is being uncharitable to kids), then intervention

to check their excesses is only appropriate.

Definitely, the ouster of

Ghadaffi was good for good governance, as many African leaders are

now on notice following the Spring Uprising in North Africa that the

days of reckoning is nigh; and that unlike before when they could put

these uprising down- justice may as well be coming from outside.

Aside from NATO, one will expect the International Criminal Court to

start looking into Ghadaffi’s atrocities soon.

It is true that many

Pan-African minded folks detest this interference, but I believe

strongly that this is the best outcome in light of the sheer

wickedness of African rulers in the past four decades. The mundane

justification of slaughtering your own on the altar of independence,

especially when you lack legitimacy is long gone. Welcome to the 21st

century: despots! Of course, Obasanjo and Mbeki are unlikely to like

this trend, they are men of yesterday. Today is for the youths, and

in our eyes freedom from the real neo-colonialists is freedom from

their locust generation of internal colonizers called rulers.

Is it true that Western

powers did this for oil? Or for some kind of economic advantage?

Perhaps! But would you care if someone invented a cure for cancer

because of money, to cure a dying sibling or just good plain old

luck? The end I believe justifies the means of Ghadaffi’s ouster.

Here is a man that was not only clearly incompetent, but one

incapable of reading the clear writing on the wall that his time was

up. His retinue of enemies: both domestic and foreign, ensure that

his fall will be swift and definite!

Some have condemned the

support Nigeria have given to the transitional government; I believe

it is appropriate. This was paying Ghadaffi back in his own coin.

Here was a man that had the audacity to advice the breakup of Nigeria

just last year, and routinely feels no compunction to interfere in

the internal affairs of his neighbors with the numerous rebel

movements under his sponsorship across Africa. More than anyone, he

has been responsible for more civil wars and proxy warfare in Africa;

he was a sponsor of many of the mineral fueled conflicts in West

Africa. Why should anyone shed for a man who lived by the sword and

was felled by it?

Others have pointed out

to the rest of the world how Libya was somewhat a model of self

sustenance which flourished with milk and honey under Ghadaffi. I say

they are sorely mistaken. The key parameter of human prosperity is

our ability to seek happiness free from the control of another mere

mortal. Fact is, under despots some measure of prosperity can always

be guaranteed to a compliant few but those tales of good life was not

the case for the dissident tribes and people of Libya under Ghadaffi.

Those were carrots akin to Hitler’s economic revival program, with

the hopes for perpetual domination. Hitler’s economic turnaround

for Germany does not absolve him from his crime on humanity.

For those giddy about

this idea that Ghadaffi was some defender of the African cause or

some form of renaissance; I ask them to consider few facts. Ghadaffi

in fact had no problems in doing business with the West provided they

allowed him to continue looting and kill Libyans. It

is easy for us to sit in our comfy nice cushy zone and talk

neo-colonialists if we don’t realize these so called African

“leaders” only discover their nationalism when they get in

trouble with their foreign buddies?


think ordinary Libyans were the ones getting the nice contracts that

gave Ghadaffi his fair share of Libyan loot? No!

It was Oxy, Eni and other foreign companies that did with the full

connivance of the strong man of Tripoli. Same is true of Mugabe,

whose later day conversion to land reallocation contrasts sharply

with the accommodating stance of his administration in the first

twenty years of independence when Zimbabwe prospered and he was the

good boy of Western powers until they asked him to abandon his one

party state hegemony. Who cares if

Mugabe, Abacha or Biya gets kicked out by a foreigner, alien from

space or poisoned apple?


think it is misplaced priority as an African to be concerned about

the double standards of the foreign policy of Western Powers (well

who wouldn’t?) when we have a bigger fish to fry: in the freedom

of my people and liberation from the big devils (sorry, big men) of

Africa. I am vehemently anti-African rulers (they are not worth to be

called leaders) and pro-African people…if that makes any sense. In

any case, may be when we start having leaders, we too can start

shaping foreign policy that is in our best interest instead of being

back sit drivers, and enjoying the benefits of Western freedoms while

nagging them.


let this not be read as a statement of support for the rebels. For

the rebel of today is the oppressor of tomorrow when they go astray

sans Robert Mugabe. They will be better served if they turn their

attention to the hard work of nation building instead of the hollow

search for revenge; ensuring the prosperity

of Libya is more evenly distributed among their countrymen. For

Ghadaffi, a man that sponsored rebellions across Africa’s

heartland, there is no more fitting tribute than his dismissal by


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1 comment

Chris September 21, 2011 - 1:16 pm

My, what an article? I have never met a man from Africa glorifying colonilism. I would rather eat dry moth bread everyday and drink water from polluted river than eat fried chicken every day under white rule. Philosophers/writers of stomach.

I am a South African and my neighbor is Zimbabwe and would never NEVER ever accept Mugabe being toppled by NATO even though I hate all his person.


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