Friday, October 21, 2011

Dark Gray Dawn in Libya

The killing of Colonel Qaddafi is well deserved, a balm to the souls of this horrible dictator's many victims and their relatives, and was absolutely essential to end the civil war he dragged his country into. But in the celebrations we run the risk of overlooking the fact that the prospects for building a decent society in Libya are pretty grim. The recent attempt by the Libyan-born Jew David Gerbi to reopen a synagogue in Tripoli, which nearly ended with his lynching, is a harbinger of how the new regime and the corrupted society Qaddafi left behind are likely to deal with other ethnic and religious minorities. For that matter, the death of Qaddafi itself, however well deserved, bears a certain ugly resemblance to the fate of Nicolae Ceau┼čescu of late unlamented memory. That is, the successor regime in Libya, as in 1989 Romania, is dominated by rats from the ancien regime who jumped ship when they saw it was sinking, and doubtless wanted the dictator silenced so he could not take them down with him by exposing their own crimes in his service. The night of Qaddafi’s evil is over, but the dawn is a very gray one indeed.

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