Libyans celebrate death of former leader Moammar Gadhafi
Moammar Gadhafi, unable to outrun the guns of the Libyan radicals, died of a gunshot wound on Thursday, Oct. 20 after hiding for months.
According to CNN, Gadhafi and his supporters tried to escape from the city of Sirte around 8:30 a.m., but were split up by U.S. and French forces. When Gadhafi was discovered hiding in a drain pipe, a gun fight ensued between Gadhafi’s loyalists and fighters from Libya’s National Transitional Council. He was captured and dragged toward a vehicle.
The actual facts concerning his death are unclear. The autopsy confirmed that Gadhafi was fatally shot in the head, but the doctor would not divulge the nature of the shot. The unknown distinction between a crossfire or close-range shot has initiated several investigations.
Many of the Libyan people hoped for the dictator’s arrest and prosecution for war crimes, because in death he won’t be able to be punished for his actions. Still, people all around the world have been rejoicing after the demise of Libya’s oppressor.
“Gadhafi’s death is the best thing for Libya. They were celebrating in the streets learning of his death,” junior Brian Tenerowicz said. “Last month they were smothered by a dictator and now they have the freedom they wanted.”
Conflict had begun during February 2011 as unrest spread from Tunisia to Libya, causing Gadhafi to use brute force in an attempt to crush the rebellion. According to CNN, he blamed the revolt of his people on Al-Qaeda and American influences, claiming that the United States slipped hallucinogenic drugs to Libyans through coffee.
Gadhafi was also paranoid that the sole perpetrator for America’s involvement in the uprising was greed for Libya’s oil. NATO joined forces with Libyan rebels, combating the violence by enacting a no-fly zone enforced by American, British, and French military services. After unsuccessfully pleading with Obama to stop NATO’s air campaign in April, he threatened to kill thousands of Americans and other “Westerners” if they dared to intervene. He claimed that the bombings were unjust against a defenseless, developing country, disregarding the fact that the bombings were an attack against him in order to help the Libyan people.
A warrant for Gadhafi’s arrest was issued on June 27. In July, the United States and Britain recognized the National Transitional Government as Libya’s official administration. The transitional government was already in place when Gadhafi was killed, with Mahmoud Jibril as Libya’s interim Prime Minister. Jibril recently announced on behalf of the National Transitional Council that elections will be held for a National Congress, parliament, and president within the next eight months.
Politically aware students’ opinions vary from skeptical to hopeful.
“Voting is not in their cultures or lifestyles yet, nor is electing an official,” senior Christie Macdonald said. “Libya is not in any better of a condition. They will be in turmoil until they can figure out a democracy system. Like any historical government revolution, it will come with trials and tribulations.”
“Obviously, working on freedom and rebuilding [after] Gadhafi’s mistakes will be the biggest challenge they face, but the hard work will pay off,” Tenerowicz said.
Cara Reilly is the Copy Chief for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com.