Whenever a corrupt regime comes to an end we reflect on how that regime controlled its people. When the weight of oppression is finally cast off it often exposes a frightened pathetic-cowering Dictator. As incredible as it may seem, when this blogger saw Gaddafi pulled from a drainage ditch bloodied, sullied, and balding, I felt a tinge of sadness. Not for Gaddafi because he only reaped what he had for forty years sowed, but for the absurdity and stupidity of all these tyrants.
Khaddafy, a behind the curtain caricature of a disembodied voice from the land of Oz, was simply another incarnation from a long line of self-aggrandized despots. Witness Slobodan Milošević, Baby Doc, Idi Amin, Saddam Hussein. Will future autocrats l-e-a-r-n from the fate of these erstwhile dictators?
They all seem to have similar personality traits. They affect self-important manners and dress with buffoonish regalia of medals, epaulets, insignias and swagger stick that have no more utility than the Captain’s rank on the lone security guard working the night shift at McDonalds. They also possess a vanity which shrouds their true purpose that in due course becomes clear.
How history would treat these dictators if they had spent their country’s wealth on, let’s say, the people can only be inferred. What if they took a percentage of the country’s wealth to educate and employ the population establishing a society based on respect and the rule of law? They would, today, be revered, respected, and probably deified with some not-so garish statue in the middle of town square. But, that seems to be the exception not the norm. The adage regarding power and its absoluteness speaks to the inevitable corruption in the human condition. History is replete with corrupt rulers, but often ignored is the associated price they pay, a sword of Damocles to drop, if you will, and the inescapable jig at the bottom of the derrick. Does it really have to be?
In the end, the ignominy of being dragged out of a spider hole or drainage ditch, berated and spat upon, shown the bottom of a shoe, unshaven, unkempt, and often stripped of clothing, and then ultimately executed should give the tyrant pause while he lavishes himself in the riches of the people whom he mistreats.
Muammar Gaddafi has now joined the pantheon of thugs and tyrants in despot hell. The contract that he signed that gave he and his family a privileged life was, and always is, based on a bad deal with the devil. It always has in the fine print a sunset clause strictly and violently enforced.