by Tommy Christopher | 7:57 am, October 20th, 2011
According to Reuters, ousted Libyan dictator Colonel Muammar Gaddafi has been captured by Libya’s National Transitional Council. According to the report, National Transitional Council official Abdel Majid told Reuters’ Samia Nakhoul that “”He’s captured. He’s wounded in both legs … He’s been taken away by ambulance.”
Later, Reuters reported that Gaddafi had died of his wounds.
Gaddafi has been at large since the fall of Tripoli in August that saw Libyan rebels end the 42 year reign of the dictator, but was finally captured as the rebel forces took Gaddafi’s hometown of Sirte. At this time, the US State Department has not confirmed Gaddafi’s capture or killing. According to the BBC, the dictator shouted, “Don’t shoot!” as he was mortally wounded.
Gaddafi’s capture and reported killing comes almost eight months to the day after President Obama publicly called for his ouster.
With this news from Reuters, we share the joys of the Libyan people in toppling a dictator who have ruled them for 42 years. At the same time, we cannot help but feel the pain and agony they must face as a country to put their country in order, the same way the Filipino people did after topping strongman President Marcos in 1986.
From our own experience, Paradise does not necessarily follow the overthrow of dictatorial governments as the experience in Irag and the Philippine show. Years after People Power I, the Filipino people continue to struggle to bring down dictators one after the other.
Ultimately, we all realize the the hardest dictators to bring down are those that exist in our hearts and they are called apathy, insensitivity, and bigotry.
Nowhere is this true than in Mindanao where the Filipino people continue to fight and kill each others for decades now simply because their fellow Filipinos in Visayas and Luzon have stopped caring for them. The killing of 19 Marines in Basilan is just a temporary tragedy soon to be forgotten with the next headline of more shocking news. The dead Marines are just statistics in the unending sacrifice before the altar of war.
War will only stop when we all will unite to work for it. War will stop in Mindanao when the Filipino people will act as one and care enough to do something about it in our own little way. War will stop when we replace guns with books. War will stop when we replace the culture of violence with the culture of peace and understanding. War will stop when we educate people so they will see the value of progress over strife.
Gaddafi is gone. Marcos is gone. But war and the dictators inside us that allow wars to continue have remained.
We pray for the people of Libya to learn from our mistakes.