Saturday October 22, 2016
“We came, we saw…he died” boasted a beaming Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, speaking of the 2011 western overthrow of Libya’s leader Muammar Khadaffi.
She was, of course, shamelessly paraphrasing Caesar’s famous summary of his campaign around the Black Sea. Mrs. Clinton, who seems ordained to be America’s next president, should have been rather more cautious in admitting to murder.
This week marks the fifth anniversary of Khadaffi’s grisly death. The Libyan leader was fleeing in a motor convoy to reach friendly tribal territory when French warplanes and a US drone attacked and destroyed the vehicles. Wounded, Khadaffi crawled into a culvert where he was captured by French and US-backed rebels.
Khadaffi was severely beaten, then anally raped with a long knife. At least two bullets finally ended his suffering. Thus ended the colorful life of the man who wanted to be the second Nasser and leader of a united Arab world. His death was a warnings to others trying to challenge the Mideast status quo I call the American Raj.
I was invited to interview Khadaffi in 1987 at his Tripoli headquarters in the Bab al-Azizya barracks. This was on the one year anniversary of 1986 US air attacks on the barracks that sought to assassinate Khadaffi, described by US President Ronald Reagan as the “mad dog of the Mideast.” But that night, the ‘Leader,’ as he liked to be called, went to his Bedouin tent in the courtyard and thus escaped death – for a time.