Villain or Hero? Desert Lion Perishes, Leaving West Explosive Legacy

Villain or Hero? Desert Lion Perishes, Leaving West Explosive Legacy

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To give credit where it's due, the honor of killing Muammar Gaddafi goes to Barack Obama, Nicolas Sarkozy and David Cameron, with special mention to Hillary Clinton.

The Islamist executioner who fired the final bullet was an obscure henchman, a mere minion of these leaders of Western democracy. They deserve to be in the spotlight for this momentous achievement before the blood dries under the Saharan sun.

To these gentlemen and the lady also get full responsibility for releasing thousands of missile launchers and tons of explosives into the hands of the victorious Islamic Fighting Group and their affiliated allies in Hamas, Al Qaeda, the Islamic Brotherhood and other guerrillas from Spain to the Philippines.

If civilian airliners are shot down or discos are blown up in the months and years ahead, the Western leaders will not have Gaddafi to blame any longer. To the victors go the laurels now and in the future.

Tripoli, Gateway for Western Oil

Tripoli, which is becoming an open gateway for Western oil executives into Africa, is also just a 40-minute plane hop or an overnight ferry ride away in the other direction, to Rome, Marseilles and dozens of lesser destinations in Europe. Soon, the Islamist veterans will be flying into Paris, London and New York with official passports and sealed diplomatic pouches.

The Islamist fighters from Benghazi and Mizrata, and their brethren from Qatar and Jordan, are now rearmed and reinforced for the coming round of jihad against their many foes in Europe, Asia, Africa and North America.

These jihadists, until recent weeks, dreaded Libya's secret service, the backbone of the CIA rendition program, which brought suspects there for tortuous interrogations. Now there are no secular prison guards nor will there be in the foreseeable future. Foreign governments will just have to put their trust on bearded men—many who cheered the 9/11 attack--to prevent the next outrage.

Gaddafi's regime, though denigrated by the West, created the highest standard of living in Africa, with public health care, financial assistance for families, university scholarships, a jobs program and benefits that the Occupy Wall Street protesters in New York and London can only dream of.

Those perks are unlikely to be restored, since oil revenues will be divided between rival factions of militants, each claiming their revolutionary violence entitles them to a lion's share of the loot.
Far from taking the first steps toward a market economy, liberated Libya is shaping up as something less than a feudal society and more like gangland. Sicily, just across the channel, seems a model of citizenship in comparison.

The diplomats and politicians are starting to talk about the empty promise of a weapon-retrieval program, training for an honest police force, strict controls over lethal materials. Who are they trying to kid?

Al Jazeera can be counted on to help the diplomats sanitize the situation, being the state broadcaster of an emirate that finances jihadists and harbors known terrorists, even sending a covert team of scouts to New York and Washington in the summer of 2001.

Who is Left to Blame?

Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden and now Gaddafi are gone. Is there anyone else to blame for terror attacks to come? There are no more fall guys. That only leaves the three men and a lady.

The season of sowing is done; what will be reaped is yet to be seen. Thus, it is important to remember this moment well, the great deed and victory before their consequences evolve into disaster and defeat for the West. No more tears or hysterics anymore, please, at the next bomb blast that demolishes a school building or when a jetliner explodes on impact. The NATO intervention affirms again that life is cheap, that the rewards are worth the risk, and, who should care anyway, since everyone must perish some day?

Most people will not die as bravely as did Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, a desert lion who fought to his last breath against the sworn enemies of his native continent, Africa.

Villain or hero? Opinion doesn't matter any longer for he was simply a man of courage. The one legacy that the colonel leaves is certain, however: Africa will not surrender.

Yoichi Shimatsu, former associate editor of Pacific News Service, has reported on North Africa for the Japanese press and New America Media.