The death of the despised despot who ruled Libya for forty-two years naturally produced celebrations throughout the country. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s end was bloody and vindictive, but we should remember that his rants against his own people—and his violent repression of what was initially a peaceful uprising—invited a harsh popular response. Recalling W.H. Auden’s famous line “Those to whom evil is done/do evil in return,” it is almost inevitable that when a leader refers to his opponents as “rats” and pledges to hunt them down house by house, the stage is set for the kind of retribution that played out recently in Sirte.
For more on this story, visit: Libya After Qaddafi | The Nation.