I must confess that the thought of Colonel Qaddafi being a bad person, an evil dictator, first entered my mind only a week ago. Before that point in time, I had thought he was an eccentric fellow for sure, but not a criminal or a madman proper. My reason for this way of thinking went back to the '80s, back to the days when the untrustworthy Ronald Reagan presented the Libyan leader as a beast, a bloodthirsty animal, a villainous Arab. But a person dismissed by Ronald Reagan could not, in my books, be all that bad. Indeed, the thinking was this: Who in the world could be actually worse than Ronald Reagan? Certainly not Colonel Qaddafi.
Twenty-five years later, the Tunisian revolution erupts and spreads across the Arab. After Mubarak comes down, Qaddafi is the next big fish to feel the heat. To my surprise, Qaddafi immediately resorts to murder to maintain power.
Witnesses described the streets of Tripoli, the capital, as a war zone. In several neighborhoods, including one called Fashloum, protesters tried to seal off the streets with makeshift barricades of scrap metal and other debris. Forces loyal to Colonel Qaddafi so far failed to surmount the barricades and young protesters appeared to be gathering rocks to throw in their defense in anticipation of a renewed attack.This is all very shocking. If these reports are true, then Reagan seems to have been right about this character. He is nothing more than a criminal.