Libya is Gaddafi free.
Caught reluctantly but not so dramatically as historical fugitives or renegade fighters, Saif al-Gaddafi is in National Transitional Council (NTC) hands. Appearing downcast and pitiful in contrast to his fight-to-the finish mantra. Not so defiant and full of hot air as when, in the height of his country's revolution-turned full-blown civil war, he had only disdainful words and a finger for his people-- 'tooz'!(Arabic colloquial for literally a 'fart' on you; blast you!).
Now a farewell from Libya and the non-Libyan spectators to this 2011 dramatic turn of events: The on-lookers who watched aghast as the Gaddafi stream of (grim) entertainment flooded their TVs, can bid goodbye to the Gaddafi grip of 40 years on Libya. They can draw a line to underscore the clan who instilled fear on its people. Those who suffered under his regime will not have had the same fascination by the unfortunately absurd comedy that the late Colonel provided during 2011's revolution to outsiders.
Once seen as a potential successor to his slain father, Muammar Gaddafi, Saif al-Islam 's capture should mark an end to hopes retained by loyalists that the Gaddafi family might seize power again. He promised to fight to the end and was finally stopped in his tenacious tracks by rebels who had pursued him across the desert.
Saif emerged as one of the regime's most visible defenders and defaulted as spokesperson for his father once the Colonel lowered his flamboyant profile. He was the first to address the nation about the unrest and outline a plan to address it. He was long-regarded as the only viable contender for this political role, though he denied such political aspirations.
The Libyan government's announcement of Saif al-Islam's arrest signals that that the end of the final chapter of the Gaddafi regime is upon us. Other leaders have issued warning wisdoms to be taken from this story of a family's fall:
"He could have contributed to a more open and decent future for his country, but instead chose to lead a bloody and barbaric campaign against his own people. The fate of the Gaddafis should act as a warning to brutal dictators everywhere."
The international community have high hopes for the son standing trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) for the no-light-charge of crimes against humanity.
Libya can move on and focus on a future and truly try and close its depressing Gaddafi past. This represents another significant step forward in the transition to a new, democratic Libya.
At least with his father's voice snuffled out, the world still has a chance to hear from someone. A self-appointed spokesperson for his father in life, perhaps he will wish to be his posthumous mouthpiece. His hand apparently bandaged from previous clashes but in good health, his final battle may now mean explaining his family's actions before a judge and jury.
"He's arrested, he's alive, and now he will face justice. And that is the most important news."