North Africa seems to be going the way of the Pittsburgh Pirates. You know it’s bad but it just seems to be getting worse. In Tunisia, Ben Ali had a few people killed but then decided to leave before it got too much worse. In Egypt Mubarak held out a bit longer and tried a little harder to crush the opposition but soon enough he realized that enough was enough.
Enter Gaddafi. Now, we’ve always known that the Colonel had a few screws loose. This is the guy who ordered the bombing of the Lockerbie Pan Am flight after all. From his Shakespearean, almost Lear-esque, pronunciations to the equally unhinged speech of his supposedly sane son, Saif Al-Islam, promising a “blood-bath” in Libya, the Gaddafi family has shown an intent in the last few days to usher Libya into an era of civil war.
But over here at RSBS, we prefer to focus on the positives. The news media is full of all these negative portrayals of the Libyan leaders so we decided to do a little research and come up with reasons to appreciate the Gaddafis. Granted, it wasn’t easy but the RSBS interns are always up to the challenge and came up with two important pieces of information that you should consider before judging the Colonel and his family.
#1. Saif Al-Islam is a pacifist at heart
Don’t believe me, take a look at his doctoral dissertation. Sure, he may be promising a blood-bath if the protesters don’t back down but all he really wants is a more democratic international structure that can break down existing authoritarian power structures. As Mr. Gaddafi puts it, “Citizens in undemocratic states emphasise that they are not represented in
the decision-making process of the IGO [intergovernmental organisation]. Even if their governments are represented in some capacity, because
their governments are authoritarian, abusive and unrepresentative of their
people’s real interests.” Does this sound like a guy who wants to help daddy drop bombs on his fellow countrymen? Wait, don’t answer that.
#2. Can you really hate a James Bond style villain?
How can you take Gaddafi seriously? Besides the almost comic stylings of his speeches, you also have to take into account the shades and the funny mustache. Not only that, he’s run the gamut of super-villainery from the aforementioned bombing to his sponsorship of various other ne’er-do-wells. On top of that, he has a statue of an enormous fist crushing an American jet. A statue! All he needs is a volcanic island as his headquarters and a group of fem-bot style Amazonians as his personal bodyguards and he’d be set. Oh, he already has a group of fem-bot style Amazonian virgins as his personal bodyguards? Well played Mr. Gaddafi.