Saif al-Gaddafi Caught: The Son's Rise & Fall

Published November 21st, 2011 - 12:11 GMT

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November 19, 2011 and Saif al-Islam, the fugitive son of ousted Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, captured on camera as well as in life, after his arrest in the south by the National Transitional Council (NTC). Gaddafi Junior, flown north, said on the plane that he was well and that injuries on his hand were caused by a Nato air strike a month ago.
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Image 1 of 11: November 19, 2011 and Saif al-Islam, the fugitive son of ousted Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, captured on camera as well as in life, after his arrest in the south by the National Transitional Council (NTC). Gaddafi Junior, flown north, said on the plane that he was well and that injuries on his hand were caused by a Nato air strike a month ago.

A promising future awaits the new Libyan generation: A man celebrates with child the capture of once heir apparent of late father Colonel Gaddafi. Libyan leaders promise that his second son will be tried in the International Criminal Court (ICC), and held to account for charges against him, possibly answering to the crimes of his untried father.
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Image 1 of 11: A promising future awaits the new Libyan generation: A man celebrates with child the capture of once heir apparent of late father Colonel Gaddafi. Libyan leaders promise that his second son will be tried in the International Criminal Court (ICC), and held to account for charges against him, possibly answering to the crimes of his untried father.

Saif al-Islam's capture signifies an end to the suffering of whole families both during the long tyrannous Gaddafi rule of 40 years, and through the cruelty of thi uprising. To have snuffed out the defaulted spokesperson and most likely heir, to the late Colonel's struggle to for power, is success enough for a relieved and washed out population.
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Image 1 of 11: Saif al-Islam's capture signifies an end to the suffering of whole families both during the long tyrannous Gaddafi rule of 40 years, and through the cruelty of thi uprising. To have snuffed out the defaulted spokesperson and most likely heir, to the late Colonel's struggle to for power, is success enough for a relieved and washed out population.

Bittersweet celebrations mark the capture of the last element of power in the Gaddafi Dynasty, as women remember their lost, men-fighters, fallen for the future of a Libya free of brutality experienced much of their lives, under the Gaddafi grasp. Saif told fellow compatriots that 'rivers of blood' would flow if the uprising did not stop.
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Image 1 of 11: Bittersweet celebrations mark the capture of the last element of power in the Gaddafi Dynasty, as women remember their lost, men-fighters, fallen for the future of a Libya free of brutality experienced much of their lives, under the Gaddafi grasp. Saif told fellow compatriots that "rivers of blood" would flow if the uprising did not stop.

V sign for victory and the Libyan flag marking the national hopes for the new Libya. Saif al-Gaddafi as Gaddafi's most high-profile son, and demonstrably loyal seed, politically, til the hard-finish, al-Islam was considered the presumptive heir. Libya can now revel in a new-found security & stability in the absence of a lingering Gaddafi menace.
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Image 1 of 11: V sign for victory and the Libyan flag marking the national hopes for the new Libya. Saif al-Gaddafi as Gaddafi's most high-profile son, and demonstrably loyal seed, politically, til the hard-finish, al-Islam was considered the presumptive heir. Libya can now revel in a new-found security & stability in the absence of a lingering Gaddafi menace.

A shadow of the 'modern' accomplished well-traveled Saif who was mostly seen in Western business attire -- a suit and tie. Unlike his father who was known not to travel without his trusty Bedouin tent get-up and moreover tent-like tribal dress. Captured, Saif al-Islam appears the part of the loyal son to his theatrically attired murdered father.
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Image 1 of 11: A shadow of the 'modern' accomplished well-traveled Saif who was mostly seen in Western business attire -- a suit and tie. Unlike his father who was known not to travel without his trusty Bedouin tent get-up and moreover tent-like tribal dress. Captured, Saif al-Islam appears the part of the loyal son to his theatrically attired murdered father.

While the elder Gaddafi was known for his heavy-handed rule in Libya and his restrictions on civil rights & dissidence, Saif fancied himself a human rights advocate and pushed for democratic reforms that could yield more power & freedoms to the people. A far cry from his stance of embarrassing loyalty to deluded Dad adopted during the civil war.
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Image 1 of 11: While the elder Gaddafi was known for his heavy-handed rule in Libya and his restrictions on civil rights & dissidence, Saif fancied himself a human rights advocate and pushed for democratic reforms that could yield more power & freedoms to the people. A far cry from his stance of embarrassing loyalty to deluded Dad adopted during the civil war.

Brandishing a gun claimed as al-Islam's, the jubilant crowds hail a victory in their struggle for power & a clean break from the old Gaddafi family dictatorship. Empowered & liberated, they applaud their seizure of the last 'fighting' flesh of Gaddafi. Most are happy to hand him over to international courts, while he refuses to recognize the ICC.
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Image 1 of 11: Brandishing a gun claimed as al-Islam's, the jubilant crowds hail a victory in their struggle for power & a clean break from the old Gaddafi family dictatorship. Empowered & liberated, they applaud their seizure of the last 'fighting' flesh of Gaddafi. Most are happy to hand him over to international courts, while he refuses to recognize the ICC.

Still on home turf, al-Islam who lived his life as an international playboy, will hardly enjoy being a prized prisoner for those who consider him the last viable threat of Gaddafi. Aisha the daughter poses no intentions to power, and might only be a worry if she decides to remove her clothing, in the footsteps of regional women in Egypt & Israel.
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Image 1 of 11: Still on home turf, al-Islam who lived his life as an international playboy, will hardly enjoy being a prized prisoner for those who consider him the last viable threat of Gaddafi. Aisha the daughter poses no intentions to power, and might only be a worry if she decides to remove her clothing, in the footsteps of regional women in Egypt & Israel.

Cheater? His PhD from the London School of Economics was marred in plagiaristic dispute, with big pay-offs for funding bodies in the lauded academic institution. He was controversially linked to key figures in the British establishment. This cast aspersions on the Lockerbie bomber case - as he accompanied a pardoned ailing suspect back to Libya.
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Image 1 of 11: Cheater? His PhD from the London School of Economics was marred in plagiaristic dispute, with big pay-offs for funding bodies in the lauded academic institution. He was controversially linked to key figures in the British establishment. This cast aspersions on the Lockerbie bomber case - as he accompanied a pardoned ailing suspect back to Libya.

Like father, unlike son? Saif will be hoping for an easier time than had by his slain father who, in the hands of angry mobs, suffered a grizzly end. He'll prefer external alternatives to a home-handled trial, as called for by military commanders. Nowhere in sight now, those friends in high places he courted. The only courting for him, the ICC.
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Image 1 of 11: Like father, unlike son? Saif will be hoping for an easier time than had by his slain father who, in the hands of angry mobs, suffered a grizzly end. He'll prefer external alternatives to a home-handled trial, as called for by military commanders. Nowhere in sight now, those friends in high places he courted. The only courting for him, the ICC.

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."

 

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