Some of Muamah Gaddafi’s messages to the media ever since he had that unbelievable exist from Tripoli have been very touching but I think they have come too late. He made his bed and now he must lay in it. He should have resigned before the situation escalated into something he could not control. I really feel sorry for him. He is probably the most generous dictator Africa has ever had.
Uganda’s Museveni will never make that mistake of staying on to fight as Gaddafi did despite his recent rhetoric I read in the Weekly Observer- because he is a very realistic man. He knows which wars he can win and those he cannot. If they put you against Mike Tyson in the ring, you should know when to call it off, because if you don’t, your nose gets blown away. Brother Gaddafi should have realized when the game was up, but on a good note: he was indeed a strong hearted, patriotic leader who saw himself only ” ending with the world’’ (as most dictators do).
Muslims and Africans will miss him. He did a lot for Libyans, Muslims and Africans in general but he denied political freedom to his people. Hope the NTC does not disappoint us. Libyans deserve to feel free in their own country. We all deserve to feel free in our own countries.
Freedom is not about putting food on somebody’s table. Otherwise, women married to rich husbands would have made the best wives ever. Because freedom is not about money, better housing, better health care,……. a poor man can easily bang your wife if you are treating her like a slave( like your own her). Hello! Human beings are not properties. They need a breather, and they always get bored easily if someone has been on their nerves for a long time.
I know it may be very difficult for some people to believe that Gaddafi fell without shooting any of the NATO planes but that‘s how the mission was planned, I believe. It was planned to neutralize his air space from the beginning. More so, I suspect that Brother Gaddafi initially thought that the situation will pass and NATO will eventually negotiate with him. So he did not want to make things worse for himself at the beginning by shooting their ‘birds’. I guess by the time he realized that NATO was about regime change not anything else, it was too late. He could not even move any of his weapons because there were within NATO target.
Look, most dictators fall in the least way expected. It is not unique to Gaddafi. Iddil Amin, for instance, also fell when people least expected it. Just like in Libya’s case, the OAU (AU) was against the foreign invaders (in this case the Tanzanians) though their arm was twisted over Amin’s own invasion of the Kagera triangle in northwestern Tanzania in October 1978.
Amin, like Gadafi, they never respected fellow leaders. Before the dust had settled over the Kagera incident, he annoyed Nyerere by suggesting that they should have a boxing match as a possible means of resolving the fate of the Kagera triangle. Amin was a professional boxer, remember. This was the point when Nyerere called up Obote to help organize the Uganda opposition in exile such that he could kick Amin’s ass.
But few people in Uganda saw all these developments as serious. Masaka and Mbarara fell into insurgent hands in early March but still Amin was making as much noise as Gaddafi was making till the last minute. Lukaya was taken and the road to Kampala seemed visible to the insurgents but Amin was still chest thumping. It’s good he did not promise a ‘Vietnam’ for Nyerere as some people are doing now.
On March 28th 1979, both Libya and Kenya asked Tanzania to get their forces out but Nyerere stuck to his guns: ‘’SONGA MBELE’’ style. On April 6th, Entebbe Airport was then in the hands of the Tanzanian forces. A week later, Lule was pronounced as the new president of Uganda. Amin’s quick fall surprised a lot of people including him. Yes, Amin regime had internal weaknesses but without the help from Tanzanians, it would have survived for a long time.
The point here is that ‘chest thumping’ and rhetoric by leaders does not necessarily save them when their moment of ‘falling down’ comes. Gaddafi had bought a lot of military equipment from the Russians even before the war started. Actually, he had bought a lot before the sanctions were put on Libya in 1980s. He serviced the old equipment and also bought more after the sanctions were lifted. His old military weapons and planes were even better than what we have got in Uganda. But it is very difficult to use all these equipment when there are under surveillance. The first thing NATO did was to effectively destroy most of this stuff at the start of the air campaign.
Let’s us also not forget that MI6 and CIA had a close relationship with Gaddafi before all these so called people’s revolutions in North Africa started, as revealed by recent media revelations. They at least had their agents on the ground that had done enough home work on Libya and its military capabilities. So every bomb thrown by NATO was meant to hit the target. They neutralized the guy. They basically disabled him to stop him from walking. May be it was for the best because a well equipped Gaddafi would have died with a lot of people. He is a wounded lion now but without power and enough military equipment. Imagine if he had both!
Going back to Museveni, I think a coup is now almost impossible in Uganda because president Museveni has fragmented the army and air force there into as many separate segments as possible. During the ‘walk to work’ protests, for instance, we used to watch people in plain clothes ordering Besigye around such that in one of the videos, I remember Besigye asking one of them: ‘who are you?’ It seems even Besigye was surprised to see people in plain clothes ordering those in uniforms.
So, at the moment, it is difficult to tell the actual number of officers in UPDF or police or intelligence units. This situation has certainly made a military seizure of power much less likely in Uganda at the moment, which is ok for me because i hate millitary governments, but i feel sorry for those who may invest their hopes in a coup. Security matters,it seems, are certainly and directly in the hands of Museveni and the people totally committed to him.