The Long Rule and Rapid Decline of Colonel Gaddafi

Published October 21st, 2011 - 09:17 GMT

The death came faster than expected given such a long and laboured hold on power.  During the revolution, Colonel Gaddafi, albeit delusional, was defiant  as he clung to notions of his leadership for life and legitimacy as single heir to Libya. Since his ascension to rule 42 years ago, and especially as he hosted the Arab League at Sirte in 2010, neither the Colonel nor the nation, saw his end looming.

Since Gaddafi's official ousting from power in August, 2011 and Gaddafi's underground retreat, no one anticipated just how soon he would be captured, given the Libyan desert man's nomadic habits and familiarity with the landscape.

The Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, 'Prince of the Faithful', self-styled 'King of Kings' and 'Mad Dog' - as branded by Ronald Regan-  is no more. Gaddafi's fifth and loyal son, Mutassem, and trusty military adviser, dead by his side.

Here's a glimpse of the last unceremonious moments, complete with jeering and rough-handling mobs. Captured and killed, in the last instance he is startled and desperately disoriented, and he cuts a tragically hopeless figure, the shadow of the foreboding and fist-waving man we had access to through TV-speech or  YouTube video.

Also, a look at his scattered and, finally, it would seem, crushed family empire.

How did he die? Well until the day after the drama of death, rumors abound as to whether he suffered a single shot to the head or various other wound stories flying about in the rumor-media-mill.  Given the room for translation and reportage discrepancy, he seems to have been variously shot in the shoulder, both legs and/ or  stomach by the National Transitional Council, in conjunction with a NATO security forces early targeted attack, in his hometown Sirte, where he was rudely set upon in his safe-hole underground.

In pictures, a short tale of a bloody demise for the Libyan ousted, now dead, Leader Colonel Gaddafi.

Internationally, his death has been received with mixed feeling, and some are once again are disappointed in the mob-styled death and bloodthirsty celebration of his demise rather than his being brought to just trial, particularly expected under the National Transitional Council's Chariman 'Judge' Jalil.  Others argue that a leader who all too frequently and mercilessly killed his people without a chance to stand trial, during 40 plus years in power, hardly deserves a fair hearing. Moreover,  giving Gaddafi a trial would be like offering him a podium or stage for his flamboyant theatrics and rantings, which arguably the audience has now tired of 'hearing'.

The UN is already launching an enquiry into his death.

Warning: Some of the images included in this selection may be of a disturbing or traditionally private nature- ed.

 

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Libyans take pictures with their mobile phones of the body of Muammar Gaddafi in Misrata on October 20, 2011. The veteran strongman was killed as new regime forces crushed the last pocket of resistance in his hometown Sirte, the NTC first reported. The Colonel's final words before impending death,  "Don't shoot, don't shoot" ; "God is Great"!

Libyans take pictures with their mobile phones of the body of Muammar Gaddafi in Misrata on October 20, 2011. The veteran strongman was killed as new regime forces crushed the last pocket of resistance in his hometown Sirte, the NTC first reported. The Colonel's final words before impending death, "Don't shoot, don't shoot" ; "God is Great"!

How did the habitually robed Colonel come to this bloody finish? The sequence of events has been lost in translation, withreports left unconfirmed. He was found in his hometown Sirte, a NATO strike hit him, and as his convoy advanced toseek medical treatment, it was ambushed by the NTC, and in gun-shot skirmishes he was fatally wounded again.

How did the habitually robed Colonel come to this bloody finish? The sequence of events has been lost in translation, withreports left unconfirmed. He was found in his hometown Sirte, a NATO strike hit him, and as his convoy advanced toseek medical treatment, it was ambushed by the NTC, and in gun-shot skirmishes he was fatally wounded again.

Son shares deathbed. The new regime found father & son together, senior Gaddafi waving a golden gun. His 5th sonwho stood by his Dad til the bitter end, went down with him, showing clan loyalty.  Said to lead a debauched lifestyle that his co-nationals disapproved of, Mutasam had fallen from dis-grace. The body of Mutassem Gaddafi, in Misrata.

Son shares deathbed. The new regime found father & son together, senior Gaddafi waving a golden gun. His 5th sonwho stood by his Dad til the bitter end, went down with him, showing clan loyalty. Said to lead a debauched lifestyle that his co-nationals disapproved of, Mutasam had fallen from dis-grace. The body of Mutassem Gaddafi, in Misrata.

A collage of shots from a video taken from the mobile phone of a NTC fighter shows Mutassem Gaddafi, son of Libya'sfallen leader Muammar Gaddafi, lying on a sofa after his capture and before his death in Sirte on October 20. He was captured alive and last seen smoking a cigarette and finally lying down on a sofa, blood stained but quite alive.

A collage of shots from a video taken from the mobile phone of a NTC fighter shows Mutassem Gaddafi, son of Libya'sfallen leader Muammar Gaddafi, lying on a sofa after his capture and before his death in Sirte on October 20. He was captured alive and last seen smoking a cigarette and finally lying down on a sofa, blood stained but quite alive.

Obama has hailed the end of this tyrant, with the implicit message that other dictators should be afraid. "The rule of an iron fistinevitably comes to an end".  An NTC vehicle transports loyalists to Gaddafi, after the Libyan leader's capture in the coastal cityof Sirte. While rough-handled, they were spared their lives, as promised by the NTC.

Obama has hailed the end of this tyrant, with the implicit message that other dictators should be afraid. "The rule of an iron fistinevitably comes to an end". An NTC vehicle transports loyalists to Gaddafi, after the Libyan leader's capture in the coastal cityof Sirte. While rough-handled, they were spared their lives, as promised by the NTC.

The last guards were male, with not a woman in sight: Found in a man-hole, Colonel Gaddafi and some of his remainingentourage were then subjected to man-handling by the enemy new regime National Council troops. No sign of the feisty women who surrounded the failed leader in life, but not death.

The last guards were male, with not a woman in sight: Found in a man-hole, Colonel Gaddafi and some of his remainingentourage were then subjected to man-handling by the enemy new regime National Council troops. No sign of the feisty women who surrounded the failed leader in life, but not death.

Libyans celebrate over the body of Mutassem Gaddafi, in Misrata. Killed with father as new regime forces finally breached their hide-out in hometown Sirte. They particularly disrespected him because of his notorious 'playful' lifestyle, frowned upon in a conservative country. He also stood as a contender to the 'throne,' challenging brother Saif.

Libyans celebrate over the body of Mutassem Gaddafi, in Misrata. Killed with father as new regime forces finally breached their hide-out in hometown Sirte. They particularly disrespected him because of his notorious 'playful' lifestyle, frowned upon in a conservative country. He also stood as a contender to the 'throne,' challenging brother Saif.

The face of death: We are now accustomed to seeing death up close and personal, since Saddam Hussein,Osama Bin-Laden and the "watch the dictator die" trend came into fashion. Here is the defaced corpse of Abubaker YunesJaber, former defence minister under Muammar Gaddafi's regime, in Sirte, captured and killed alongside Veteran rulerGaddafi.

The face of death: We are now accustomed to seeing death up close and personal, since Saddam Hussein,Osama Bin-Laden and the "watch the dictator die" trend came into fashion. Here is the defaced corpse of Abubaker YunesJaber, former defence minister under Muammar Gaddafi's regime, in Sirte, captured and killed alongside Veteran rulerGaddafi.

Jeering mobs have their moment. One man struck the former dictator with his shoe -- a grave insult in the Arab world. Shown here wielding what they claim to be the gold-plated gun of ousted Gaddafi at the site where the latterwas captured in the coastal Libyan city of Sirte. His golden gun hardly served the tattered man in his final moments.

Jeering mobs have their moment. One man struck the former dictator with his shoe -- a grave insult in the Arab world. Shown here wielding what they claim to be the gold-plated gun of ousted Gaddafi at the site where the latterwas captured in the coastal Libyan city of Sirte. His golden gun hardly served the tattered man in his final moments.

Until Saif il Islam- the most likely candidate to succeed his dead father or rally any old-regime support, is tried , or killed, Libyawon't feel like it can fully move into its new era and national project, forging a new trajectory and forgetting the ghosts of Gaddafi's 42 year-iron-fist rule. Saif is still rumored to be alive at this time.

Until Saif il Islam- the most likely candidate to succeed his dead father or rally any old-regime support, is tried , or killed, Libyawon't feel like it can fully move into its new era and national project, forging a new trajectory and forgetting the ghosts of Gaddafi's 42 year-iron-fist rule. Saif is still rumored to be alive at this time.

Libyans take pictures with their mobile phones of the body of Muammar Gaddafi in Misrata on October 20, 2011. The veteran strongman was killed as new regime forces crushed the last pocket of resistance in his hometown Sirte, the NTC first reported. The Colonel's final words before impending death,  "Don't shoot, don't shoot" ; "God is Great"!
How did the habitually robed Colonel come to this bloody finish? The sequence of events has been lost in translation, withreports left unconfirmed. He was found in his hometown Sirte, a NATO strike hit him, and as his convoy advanced toseek medical treatment, it was ambushed by the NTC, and in gun-shot skirmishes he was fatally wounded again.
Son shares deathbed. The new regime found father & son together, senior Gaddafi waving a golden gun. His 5th sonwho stood by his Dad til the bitter end, went down with him, showing clan loyalty.  Said to lead a debauched lifestyle that his co-nationals disapproved of, Mutasam had fallen from dis-grace. The body of Mutassem Gaddafi, in Misrata.
A collage of shots from a video taken from the mobile phone of a NTC fighter shows Mutassem Gaddafi, son of Libya'sfallen leader Muammar Gaddafi, lying on a sofa after his capture and before his death in Sirte on October 20. He was captured alive and last seen smoking a cigarette and finally lying down on a sofa, blood stained but quite alive.
Obama has hailed the end of this tyrant, with the implicit message that other dictators should be afraid. "The rule of an iron fistinevitably comes to an end".  An NTC vehicle transports loyalists to Gaddafi, after the Libyan leader's capture in the coastal cityof Sirte. While rough-handled, they were spared their lives, as promised by the NTC.
The last guards were male, with not a woman in sight: Found in a man-hole, Colonel Gaddafi and some of his remainingentourage were then subjected to man-handling by the enemy new regime National Council troops. No sign of the feisty women who surrounded the failed leader in life, but not death.
Libyans celebrate over the body of Mutassem Gaddafi, in Misrata. Killed with father as new regime forces finally breached their hide-out in hometown Sirte. They particularly disrespected him because of his notorious 'playful' lifestyle, frowned upon in a conservative country. He also stood as a contender to the 'throne,' challenging brother Saif.
The face of death: We are now accustomed to seeing death up close and personal, since Saddam Hussein,Osama Bin-Laden and the "watch the dictator die" trend came into fashion. Here is the defaced corpse of Abubaker YunesJaber, former defence minister under Muammar Gaddafi's regime, in Sirte, captured and killed alongside Veteran rulerGaddafi.
Jeering mobs have their moment. One man struck the former dictator with his shoe -- a grave insult in the Arab world. Shown here wielding what they claim to be the gold-plated gun of ousted Gaddafi at the site where the latterwas captured in the coastal Libyan city of Sirte. His golden gun hardly served the tattered man in his final moments.
Until Saif il Islam- the most likely candidate to succeed his dead father or rally any old-regime support, is tried , or killed, Libyawon't feel like it can fully move into its new era and national project, forging a new trajectory and forgetting the ghosts of Gaddafi's 42 year-iron-fist rule. Saif is still rumored to be alive at this time.
Libyans take pictures with their mobile phones of the body of Muammar Gaddafi in Misrata on October 20, 2011. The veteran strongman was killed as new regime forces crushed the last pocket of resistance in his hometown Sirte, the NTC first reported. The Colonel's final words before impending death,  "Don't shoot, don't shoot" ; "God is Great"!
Libyans take pictures with their mobile phones of the body of Muammar Gaddafi in Misrata on October 20, 2011. The veteran strongman was killed as new regime forces crushed the last pocket of resistance in his hometown Sirte, the NTC first reported. The Colonel's final words before impending death, "Don't shoot, don't shoot" ; "God is Great"!
How did the habitually robed Colonel come to this bloody finish? The sequence of events has been lost in translation, withreports left unconfirmed. He was found in his hometown Sirte, a NATO strike hit him, and as his convoy advanced toseek medical treatment, it was ambushed by the NTC, and in gun-shot skirmishes he was fatally wounded again.
How did the habitually robed Colonel come to this bloody finish? The sequence of events has been lost in translation, withreports left unconfirmed. He was found in his hometown Sirte, a NATO strike hit him, and as his convoy advanced toseek medical treatment, it was ambushed by the NTC, and in gun-shot skirmishes he was fatally wounded again.
Son shares deathbed. The new regime found father & son together, senior Gaddafi waving a golden gun. His 5th sonwho stood by his Dad til the bitter end, went down with him, showing clan loyalty.  Said to lead a debauched lifestyle that his co-nationals disapproved of, Mutasam had fallen from dis-grace. The body of Mutassem Gaddafi, in Misrata.
Son shares deathbed. The new regime found father & son together, senior Gaddafi waving a golden gun. His 5th sonwho stood by his Dad til the bitter end, went down with him, showing clan loyalty. Said to lead a debauched lifestyle that his co-nationals disapproved of, Mutasam had fallen from dis-grace. The body of Mutassem Gaddafi, in Misrata.
A collage of shots from a video taken from the mobile phone of a NTC fighter shows Mutassem Gaddafi, son of Libya'sfallen leader Muammar Gaddafi, lying on a sofa after his capture and before his death in Sirte on October 20. He was captured alive and last seen smoking a cigarette and finally lying down on a sofa, blood stained but quite alive.
A collage of shots from a video taken from the mobile phone of a NTC fighter shows Mutassem Gaddafi, son of Libya'sfallen leader Muammar Gaddafi, lying on a sofa after his capture and before his death in Sirte on October 20. He was captured alive and last seen smoking a cigarette and finally lying down on a sofa, blood stained but quite alive.
Obama has hailed the end of this tyrant, with the implicit message that other dictators should be afraid. "The rule of an iron fistinevitably comes to an end".  An NTC vehicle transports loyalists to Gaddafi, after the Libyan leader's capture in the coastal cityof Sirte. While rough-handled, they were spared their lives, as promised by the NTC.
Obama has hailed the end of this tyrant, with the implicit message that other dictators should be afraid. "The rule of an iron fistinevitably comes to an end". An NTC vehicle transports loyalists to Gaddafi, after the Libyan leader's capture in the coastal cityof Sirte. While rough-handled, they were spared their lives, as promised by the NTC.
The last guards were male, with not a woman in sight: Found in a man-hole, Colonel Gaddafi and some of his remainingentourage were then subjected to man-handling by the enemy new regime National Council troops. No sign of the feisty women who surrounded the failed leader in life, but not death.
The last guards were male, with not a woman in sight: Found in a man-hole, Colonel Gaddafi and some of his remainingentourage were then subjected to man-handling by the enemy new regime National Council troops. No sign of the feisty women who surrounded the failed leader in life, but not death.
Libyans celebrate over the body of Mutassem Gaddafi, in Misrata. Killed with father as new regime forces finally breached their hide-out in hometown Sirte. They particularly disrespected him because of his notorious 'playful' lifestyle, frowned upon in a conservative country. He also stood as a contender to the 'throne,' challenging brother Saif.
Libyans celebrate over the body of Mutassem Gaddafi, in Misrata. Killed with father as new regime forces finally breached their hide-out in hometown Sirte. They particularly disrespected him because of his notorious 'playful' lifestyle, frowned upon in a conservative country. He also stood as a contender to the 'throne,' challenging brother Saif.
The face of death: We are now accustomed to seeing death up close and personal, since Saddam Hussein,Osama Bin-Laden and the "watch the dictator die" trend came into fashion. Here is the defaced corpse of Abubaker YunesJaber, former defence minister under Muammar Gaddafi's regime, in Sirte, captured and killed alongside Veteran rulerGaddafi.
The face of death: We are now accustomed to seeing death up close and personal, since Saddam Hussein,Osama Bin-Laden and the "watch the dictator die" trend came into fashion. Here is the defaced corpse of Abubaker YunesJaber, former defence minister under Muammar Gaddafi's regime, in Sirte, captured and killed alongside Veteran rulerGaddafi.
Jeering mobs have their moment. One man struck the former dictator with his shoe -- a grave insult in the Arab world. Shown here wielding what they claim to be the gold-plated gun of ousted Gaddafi at the site where the latterwas captured in the coastal Libyan city of Sirte. His golden gun hardly served the tattered man in his final moments.
Jeering mobs have their moment. One man struck the former dictator with his shoe -- a grave insult in the Arab world. Shown here wielding what they claim to be the gold-plated gun of ousted Gaddafi at the site where the latterwas captured in the coastal Libyan city of Sirte. His golden gun hardly served the tattered man in his final moments.
Until Saif il Islam- the most likely candidate to succeed his dead father or rally any old-regime support, is tried , or killed, Libyawon't feel like it can fully move into its new era and national project, forging a new trajectory and forgetting the ghosts of Gaddafi's 42 year-iron-fist rule. Saif is still rumored to be alive at this time.
Until Saif il Islam- the most likely candidate to succeed his dead father or rally any old-regime support, is tried , or killed, Libyawon't feel like it can fully move into its new era and national project, forging a new trajectory and forgetting the ghosts of Gaddafi's 42 year-iron-fist rule. Saif is still rumored to be alive at this time.

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