The Plastic Hippo

October 21, 2011

Rat up a drainpipe

Filed under: World — theplastichippo @ 11:57 am


William Hague is pleased, David Cameron is proud and the ever erudite Hillary Clinton reacted by saying “wow”. Gaddafi is dead and Libya is now free and at peace. God, it seems, is great.

Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, brotherly leader and guide of the first of September revolution of the Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, King of African Kings was a very nasty piece of work and not many tears will be shed at the news of his passing. The evil madman lived by the sword and died, it would seem, by a mixture of drone technology and a 9mm bullet to the head. The details of the death of the tyrant are still vague but it is worth pointing out, particularly to Foreign Secretary Hague, that the death occurred on Libyan soil and that the drainage pipe was not located in Venezuela. It’s called intelligence, William.

It does not bode well that the first faltering steps to democracy in the Magreb were taken by dragging a human being from a sewer and dispatching him to heavenly paradise with a cartridge probably manufactured in northern Europe or the United States. The ghoulish feeding frenzy in the western media has not helped either. Television news outlets screened shaky mobile phone footage of the very bad man’s last moments, helpfully freeze framing to show his face. Certain sections of the printed press took orgasmic delight in running full page images of the dictator with his brains on the pavement. It was either that or front page spreads reporting on Westlife splitting up.

Gaddafi dying in or near to a sewer is both ironic and convenient. The bad guy threatened to hunt down “like rats” any of his own people who dared to defy him and probably regretted not outsourcing vermin control to Rentokill. Now mercifully silent, the mad dog of north Africa will not be allowed to bring embarrassing revelations to something called, in a world long gone, a trial. A succession of western leaders will breathe a huge sigh of relief that the smoking gun was unloaded into the strange mind of the brotherly leader thus avoiding unnecessary and rather embarrassing legal proceedings. They have no wish to see a repeat of expensive and lengthy litigation against Balkan despots feigning terminal illness or the absurd theatre of Hosni Mubarak turning up in court on a hospital trolley. Only a year ago, Gaddafi was still considered as a friend to the west, but only because he was sitting on massive oil reserves. Blair, Brown, Cameron and their predecessors will be delighted that justice and silence came from a 9mm shell and that Muammar has joined Osama in paradise without the small detail of having to answer for their crimes.

Should the world be thrown into a crisis regarding a shortage of falafel from Syria, or cous cous from Yemen, then we can be sure that our leaders will launch air strikes to protect the people of those nations as long as they agree to buy armaments from us after the tyrants have met their fate in a sewer. We will celebrate with the scary, shouting men in Nike and Adidas football shirts who fire AK47s into the air stating that power must not come the the muzzle of a gun.

The rag tag army that toppled a dictator are thanking us and are already arguing about who should rule. Far from welcoming the first full revolution of the Arab spring, we should consider just who we have armed to protect our unhealthy interest in oil. Replacing one barmy dictator with another might be good for the price and availability of crude but it will not stop rats from entering the kitchen. It is only a matter of months since the leaders of the National Transitional Council enjoyed a lavish life style thanks to the munificence of the King of African kings.

It is at best uncomfortable to realise that we have defended and encouraged the freedom and the right to drag a man through the streets and then shoot him. Cameron might be proud, Hague might be pleased and Blair will be relieved. Rats don’t just live in sewers.

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