The images of Muammar Gaddafi on television threatening revolutionaries that he would hound them from house to house and zenga, zenga (alley by alley) will never be forgotten.
In fact, these images went viral through social networks and YouTube; they featured in songs and clips as no other political event before. Of course, this was taken lightly, as a joke. And that reflects the real image of Gaddafi in the Arab region and the world. He has been taken as a clown. People would sit in front of their televisions during Arab summits to listen to him only for fun. Nobody, especially in the last 20 years, ever took him seriously.
And, if you have a clown, you will have a theatre and an audience. Gaddafi always had an audience. Among them were world leaders who, in fact, helped him become a dictator. They knew that he supported terrorists; they knew that he had led his country to darkness. And though he admitted to the Lockerbie bombing, the leaders were happy with him as he entertained them with billions in compensation. Gaddafi also gave up his claimed nuclear plans. Hence, these leaders opened their doors for him to stay longer in his clowning glory.
The leaders, from UK, France, Italy and other countries, sent their envoys to him to strike deals and finalise projects. And, during these selfish, tough times, they have completely forgotten the people of Libya, who have been left in the dark. How much of this is similar to Saddam Hussain's case? Very similar, indeed.
But let us stay with Gaddafi who has gone into hiding as the revolutionaries chase him from house to house, zenga zenga. Gaddafi, sooner or later, that is if he does not get a chance to flee Libya, will be caught. And it might be similar to the way Saddam was trapped — he was found in a hole. So the clown, if he is snared the same way, will be the real rat, not his people who he has been calling rats in all his recent speeches.
The revolutionaries want him dead or alive and have put a price of $1.7 million on his head (how much was Saddam's price? $25 million). So, I wonder why Gaddafi is worth only $1.7 million? Might be because of the recession. So Gaddafi and Saddam are no different in their make and fate. Saddam was brought to court, and Gaddafi too should be brought to justice. He should not be killed before that. This is where Mustafa Abdul Jalil, chairman of the National Transitional Council, made a mistake. He wants Gaddafi dead or alive and declared he would pardon the killer. This is not justice. It is revenge. Gaddafi should be brought before the court unless he decides to end his own life.
Back to the clown — he has left $200 billion in western banks, one-fifth of the Libyan people live below the poverty line, one-tenth of the population illiterate; and God knows how many thousands he has killed during his long reign of terror and the revolution.
Gaddafi had the chance like no other Arab ruler had to turn his country into a real haven for its people. He could have transformed Libya into a developed country, which has a population of just above six million and oil reserves known to be one of the best oil in the world. Libya's location is also close to Europe; hence transportation costs are low. But, instead, he unleashed mayhem and darkness. This was well known to the world. But there was no interest in pressuring Gaddafi to reform for the benefit of his people.
The interest at those times was Gaddafi himself — as long as he pampered the West. So we do not know who the real clown was, or who was laughing at the other. Was it Gaddafi laughing at the West or was the West laughing at Gaddafi? What I know for sure is that Gaddafi, to protect his own interests and his regime, was the clown. The world was his audience. And, for sure, we all know that Libyans were his victims.
The West has completely forgotten human rights, democracy and freedom of the people in Libya. They all knew that he was a dictator, but they opened their doors to him without thinking about the price the people of Libya would pay.
Gaddafi then grew even more audacious, brazen and brutal. On this stage, ethics do not exist. And if policies have no ethics, what will be born is a breed of clowns like Gaddafi. We hope now, after all the mayhem that has been unleashed by the clown and his audience in equal measure, the Libyan people will not be lost in zenga, zenga.