While it didn’t take much imagination to envision the eventual outcome, we thought we’d take this opportunity to re-run this post from February.
Will Gaddafi meet his end strung up like Mussolini, shot like Nicolae Ceausescu, or hanged like Saddam? Or will he find exile in Saudi Arabia, like Tunisia’s Zine El Abidine BenAli?
The fates of tyrants in recent history are diverse. Zaire’s Mobutu Sese Seko was rejected by Togo but admitted to Morocco, where he soon died. Ethiopia’s Mengistu Haile Mariam lives in Zimbabwe. Former president of Haiti Jean Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier, apparently short of cash and options, returned to Haiti, where he was promptly arrested. Charles Taylor of Liberia’s seven-year war crimes trial is coming to a close at the Hague.
In his 2004 book Talk of the Devil: Encounters With Seven Dictators (Walker Books), Italian journalist Riccardo Orizio tracked down and spoke with the exiled likes of Mengistu and even Idi Amin Dada, who, like Ben Ali, was welcomed to Saudi Arabia where he lived out his life in leisure.
In fact, it was Gaddafi himself who helped pave the way for Amin’s soft landing. Orizio writes.
In April 1979 . . a private plane sent by Gaddafi saved Idi Amin from being lynched by the Tanzanian army and Ugandan rebels. The Libyan leader, who had persuaded Amin to break off diplomatic relations with Israel and side with the Arab terrorists organizations in exchange for economic aid, offered him the use of a villa on the Tripoli coast. Later Gaddafi sent him to the Saudis.
Who will come to Gaddafi’s rescue?