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Political Column: The Fall of a Tyrant

Daniel Caccavale

            Until recently, most people probably weren’t too concerned with a country called Libya. But, what has brought this North African country into conversation lately?  Well, it has to do with a person named Muammar Gaddafi. Gaddafi was the ruler over the country from September of 1969 until August of 2011. During his time as dictator, Gaddafi ruled with the figurative iron fist. In June 2011, the International Criminal Court (ICC) put out a warrant for Gaddafi’s arrest for crimes against humanity, specifically citing his brutal massacring of his own people. In August 2011, the Libyan people finally overthrew the dictator and began taking back the country of Libya for themselves and forced their once strong leader into hiding. On October 20th, the reports came flooding in worldwide; Muammar Gaddafi has been killed, and Libya is now on its way to democracy. While it is true that it is always great to hear that places around the world are breaking free of oppression, the big question is what’s next for Libya?

For anyone who has seen Shawshank Redemption, picture the scene when Andy Dufresne breaks out of prison and for the first time feels the rain on his face as a free man. I imagine that is the feeling that is spreading rapidly across Libya. After all, how would you feel if, after 42 years of oppression, you were suddenly free? But, let’s face it; Libya isn’t all of a sudden going to be a full-blown democratic nation over night. That’s too easy. It could take years to establish a proper, stable, and free government. Democracy takes time, patience, and about 10 million tons of hard work. Of course, I’m sure that the United States government won’t hesitate to lend a helping hand, seeing as it always does, even if it can’t afford it.

I digress; I’m not an expert in International Politics or on how to build a country by any means, but I think this much is clear: Libya being free is a great thing for this world. The fall of one tyrant today could mean the fall of another tomorrow. Looking back at it, this all started with a few riots in Egypt to overthrow its now former dictator, and that feeling of rebellion pushed Libya into doing the same. Who knows, this could be the start of a worldwide revolution that ends with the abolition of tyranny as we know it. Now, I’m not saying it’s definite, so please let’s not all get our hopes up, but anything is possible. Well, no matter what the future may hold, today, let us all take a second to smile and celebrate that there is now another free country in our world.

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