Robert Fisk: Horrible truths to emerge when Gaddafi finally goes
Libya's leader is cruel, vainglorious and steeped in blood. Now, after more than four decades of terror and oppression, he appears to be on his way out, writes Robert Fisk
Published 22/02/2011 | 05:00
So even the old, paranoid, crazed fox of Libya -- the pallid, infantile, droop-cheeked dictator from Sirte, owner of his own female praetorian guard, author of the preposterous 'Green Book', who once announced he would ride to a Non-Aligned Movement summit in Belgrade on his white charger -- is going to ground. Or gone.
Last night, the man I first saw more than three decades ago, solemnly saluting a phalanx of black-uniformed frogmen as they flappered their way across the sulphur-hot tarmac of Green Square on a torrid night in Tripoli during a seven-hour military parade, appeared to be on the run at last, pursued -- like the dictators of Tunis and Cairo -- by his own furious people.
The YouTube and Facebook pictures told the story with a grainy, fuzzed reality. Burning police stations in Benghazi and Tripoli; corpses and angry, armed men; a woman with a pistol leaning from a car door; a crowd of students -- were they readers of his literature? -- breaking down a concrete replica of his ghastly book. Gunfire and flames and cellphone screams; quite an epitaph for a regime we all, from time to time, supported.