Hours after Gadhafi’s death was confirmed I perused my Facebook and Twitter feeds for reactions. Facebook: one mention. Twitter: plenty of the news sites providing hourly updates, but only a couple of reaction posts. Regardless, social media has transformed the way the (Western) world responds to, and is informed of, celebrity deaths. Steve Jobs broke the record of reactionary noise online this month (for the list of record-breaking responses, read here). No doubt in the next 24 hours Gaddafi will be added somewhere to the list.
My thoughts: The now dubbed “Arab Autumn” has proven itself unwilling to do anything less than follow in the footsteps of the tempestuous “Arab Spring.” This is a fascinating year to be living in the Middle East, and I’m honored to watch its future unfold around me. On any of the given news websites I’ve visited in the last few hours, Gadhafi articles make up at least 3/4 of the top viewed; to quote my Egyptology professor: “this is a huge and big deal.” That said, the images/video of Gadhafi just prior to and following his death are absolutely appalling to me. The man was bludgeoned to death by built up animosity from the last four decades of his tyrannical rule, and purportedly shot multiple times, then carried around to display his body.
My conclusion: My heart goes out to the people of Libya, and I am thrilled to see what the future holds for them. But I am saddened that a violent regime was necessitated to end with similar violence.
“Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars….” – MLK jr.
(I realize that the internet is absolutely flooded with articles on Gadhafi right now – but if you are not at all aware of what is going on, you can start here)