Now that the Gaddafi regime has been ousted from Tripoli and the rebels revel in and loot the various palaces of him and his family, the blogosphere and the Guardian’s picture editors are making the (slightly obvious) comparison’s between Gaddafi’s regime and the forgotten colossus in Shelley’s Ozymandias.
However, as talk turns to what Libya and the Middle East will do next I think a probably more profound literary allusion would be George Orwell. Or more specifically, the final words of his 1945 novella Animal Farm:
The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from
pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.
The rebels are closing in. The heirs to the regime have either been arrested or killed. The compound is all that is left of a dictatorship that has spanned four decades.
With only 20% of the capital, according to current reports, still in his possession and night long celebrations in the capital’s Green Square it looks like the jig is up for Colonel Gaddafi.
His time in power, lubricated by sitting on top of an oil reserve that the Western powers don’t want to lose, has been marked by suspicion, mystery and worldwide condemnation. It is hard to believe this is the end of the saga that has been going on since the airstrike began back in March.
Back when NATO sanctioned the air attack the government tried to suggest that it would be quick and painless as Gaddafi was already on his last legs. However the past 5 months have proved that was as naive as most commentators and members of the public thought at the time. Continue reading Gaddafi’s Last Stand And The Future Of Libya.