Posts tagged Libya

After Gaddafi

From ‘After Gaddafi' in Newsweek, Feb 27 2011: 

There was, for all the usual showmanship, something touching about Gaddafi’s last visit to Italy a few months ago. Dressed in his singular combination of Arab cloak and Western-style white business suit, he had pinned a grainy black-and-white picture to his lapel—which Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi studiously avoided looking at. The picture was of a shackled Omar al-Mukhtar, a Cyrenaican tribal leader and Libya’s national hero, who was taken prisoner in 1931 after resisting the Italian colonial invasion for several years. He was hanged by the Italians before an assembly of Libyan prisoners—his cloak and glasses remain a central exhibit in Libya’s national museum on Green Square in Tripoli.

It was Gaddafi’s way of paying homage to a man he believed represents the ideal of a true Libyan: a tribal warrior, brave, uncompromising, willing to take on insurmountable odds. Gaddafi wanted to remind Berlusconi of the horrors of the Italian occupation—during which as much as half the population of Cyrenaica, Libya’s eastern province, may have died. It was no surprise that Gaddafi, in his first speech after the uprising against him spread across Libya, invoked these same qualities to explain that he would fight to the end and was willing to die as a (self-proclaimed) martyr.

Conflicting reports out of Libya this morning say the deposed leader was either captured or killed after the fall of his hometown, Sirte. We felt the above snippet relevant in that context.

Update: confirmed.

The AP’s Sergey Ponomarev captures the infamous “Fist Crushing a U.S. Fighter Plane Sculpture,” now covered in graffiti and rebels, from inside Gaddafi’s main compound in Bab Al-Aziziya.

The AP’s Sergey Ponomarev captures the infamous “Fist Crushing a U.S. Fighter Plane Sculpture,” now covered in graffiti and rebels, from inside Gaddafi’s main compound in Bab Al-Aziziya.




Rebel fighters moved carefully into a building on Tripoli Street where government loyalist troops were believed to have been trapped.

This photo was sent earlier in the day from Getty Images photographer Chris Hondros, who died today after being struck by mortar fire in Misrata, Libya. via WSJ

Hondros had also photographed for NEWSWEEK. His colleague, award-winning journalist Tim Hetherington, was also killed in the attack.

Rebel fighters moved carefully into a building on Tripoli Street where government loyalist troops were believed to have been trapped.

This photo was sent earlier in the day from Getty Images photographer Chris Hondros, who died today after being struck by mortar fire in Misrata, Libya. via WSJ

Hondros had also photographed for NEWSWEEK. His colleague, award-winning journalist Tim Hetherington, was also killed in the attack.

Until the bombs started falling, Berlusconi and Gaddafi were much more than casual acquaintances and bilateral buddies. The two shared an intimate friendship that was evident every time they met. When other world leaders graciously shook hands, Berlusconi and Gaddafi were like giddy schoolmates in each other’s presence … The two men share a penchant for sexed-up, orgiastic celebrations, and the all-female security detail that Gaddafi traveled with seemed straight out of the Berlusconi playbook.
Barbie Nadeau on the close relationship between Berlusconi and Gaddafi, and the ploy to protect Italy’s business interests in Libya.