Gaddafi has underscored the new paradigm; who’s next?

Luke Bozier looks at which dictator is next following the death today of Libyan despot Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. Syria president Bashar Al-Assad and Yemen should watch out.

Eleven years in to the 21st century, and liberal intervention is coming of age. The policy, which owes a lot to former Labour leader Tony Blair, while often controversial, is a vital element in the success of Libya’s revolution.

Be under no illusion: Gaddafi would still be on his throne today, throttling his countryfolk, were it not for the laser-like military interventions of Britain, France and America in support of the rebel movement.

Today we learned that Colonel Gaddafi is dead. Gruesome photos and videos are all over the web; he was found, ironically after calling his people ‘rats’, in a concrete pipe underground waving around a golden gun (where was James Bond I ask?!).

The Libyans who captured him took justice into their own hands, and for right or wrong, ended Gaddafi’s life in a highly symbolic move.

The message is clear; dictators are no longer immune from demise. They’re not immune because people have now witnessed what revolutionary movements can achieve if they keep pushing through the fog of repression. The West, often seen as hypocritical and self-interested where it applies its military might, has been shown to be willing to act where it can in support of indigenous movements for serious change.

It’s been demonstrated, in the best way possible, that military intervention can happen and succeed, without an Iraq-style full-scale invasion. The new paradigm has been underscored by Gaddafi’s downfall, brought about by a rebel movement supported by Western military force.

So looking around the region and perhaps the world, we should ask who is next. Which dictator has outlived his welcome? The obvious answers lie in the Middle East. Syria’s President Bashar Al-Assad is clinging on to power quite remarkably. Despite killing thousands of his own citizens (in the name of law and order, apparently), he is still de fact ruler of Syria. He seems to be particularly difficult to get rid of.

Blocked by Russia and China on the UN Security Council, the West can do very little overtly at the moment, but attention should be focused on what assets the West can use now to support the nascent Syrian uprising.

Further afield, Yemen’s President is also due an exit shortly. Perhaps he’ll be smart and go of his own free will, lest Yemen witness similar scenes to Libya today.

Beyond the Middle East there are sticky dictators hanging on to power in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan in Asia, and Robert Mugabe, Omar Bashir and Idriss Deby in Africa. Robert Mugabe succeeded in seeing off something of a revolutionary movement at the last election in Zimbabwe; perhaps at the next election there will be a flash point which could end his decades-long rule.

Whichever dictator falls next, I’m sure many of them will be paying attention to today’s events in Libya. They might get their passports and cash stashes ready ‘just in case’. They’d be wise to stand down and get out of the way of the destinies of their peoples.

Democracy belongs to every man; dictatorships are a dying breed, and sooner or later they will all be extinct.

See also:

Gaddafi is dead. Long live LibyaShamik Das, October 20th 2011

Syrian Uprising: YouTube clips show continued demonstrations after Hama massacreDaniel Elton, August 1st 2011

Situation deteriorates in Yemen, while tension builds in SyriaDominic Browne, June 7th 2011

Syria, where innocence is no defenceDominic Browne, June 1st 2011

Syria: Footage from the frontlineDominic Browne, May 10th 2011

Syria: A nation bloody but defiantDominic Browne, May 6th 2011

Wave of unrest spreads to SyriaSeph Brown, March 19th 2011

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29 Responses to “Gaddafi has underscored the new paradigm; who’s next?”

  1. Ash

    Seriously? A photograph of a fresh corpse and a headline asking ‘who’s next’? What is this, Rambo 5?

  2. Rob the crip

    No it Luke a Blair-ite who will say and do anything to give his master praise, he’s from new labour, they are we hope on the way out.

    A person dies gets shot in the head, we are hearing a large number of children were on the convoy with a lot of mothers, I suspect Bozier will say well that’s war.

    Now we have factions with Iraq and with in Egypt and Libya we will see what comes of this lot and how much democracy they get.

    As for Blair his address book of mates it’s getting much shorter.

  3. John Jackson

    “Who’s next”, indeed ?

    Maybe, as the author suggests, it might be the turn of the despot, Mugabe; although, if so, it seems highly unlikely that it will come about as a consequence of any great “liberal intervention” (?!) emanating from ‘The West’.
    No, thus far, ‘The West’ (including this nation) does not seem to be unduly troubled by Mugabe’s continuing persecution of his people – might that be because there is no OIL that we could possibly ‘LIBERATE’ also ?

    And I notice that the article fails to mention North Korea among it’s list of dictatorships and nations with a history of human rights abuse ?
    Might that be possibly because they would be more inclined and much better placed to defend themselves ?

    I am no supporter of despots or dictators and certainly no apologist for butchers like Gaddafi or Saddam Hussein; and I am glad that the people of Libya and Iraq are now free of those particular tyrants.
    (** ‘Liberal interventionists’ AND ‘right-wing knee jerk reactionaries’ may wish to read that particular sentence more than once just to make sure they have fully assimilated both the content and the context. **)

    However, unlike the author of this article, I am prepared to state that I believe the killing of Gadaffi was WRONG – as I believe the taking of any human life as a matter of choice is wrong. He should have been placed on trial for the alleged crimes against his people and, if found guilty, incarcerated. That action would have served as a far greater warning to depots and dictators the world over, particularly to those (and their supporters) who perceive such an end as martyrdom.

    Unfortunately, of course any such trial would likely have proven deeply embarrassing for the governments of many of the ‘liberal interventionist’ nations of ‘the West’ – particularly to those of the UK and the USA – that have been arming and supporting these despotic regimes for decades !!

    Whilst you may consider me naive for holding this point of view, I am not so naive as to fail to notice the author’s attempt – on an almost subliminal level – to rewrite history; to justify the illegal war in Iraq; and, more specifically, to sanitise the mendacious, duplicitous and self-serving conduct of Mr. Tory B. Liar during that shameful period in this great nations history.

    I am afraid, Mr Bozier, that when a person has that much childrens’ blood on their hands, it takes more than ALL the dollar bills from the vaults of Goldman Sachs to wipe them clean !!

    I wish the people of Libya and Iraq every good fortune in rebuilding their nations.

  4. Yasin Gregg

    Dictators & demise RT @June4th RT @leftfootfwd: Gaddafi has underscored the new paradigm; who’s next? asks @LukeBozier

  5. Rob the crip

    It would be great to think Libya and Iraq would end up with no poverty, all living in peace, it would be the first time in a very long history, but I suspect the UK will not want any of these leaders alive. Blair was seen praising this clown and kissing him telling us he was a great leader, mind you he had BP contracts with him

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