To the Bitter End, a Chaotic New Beginning

Residents of Benghazi vent their anger and anguish about the men in their family killed in the 1996 Abu Slim prison massacre in March 2011. ©2011 Derek Henry Flood

New York- In the final part of the Gaddafi story by Noiser Podcasts, the colonel meets his ignominious end just outside Sirte during the fever pitch of the so-called Arab Spring in October 2011. A decade on, it’s hard not to wince at the use of the word spring which to me connotes some form of hopefulness while with the noted exception of Tunisia, the Arab Spring was an unmitigated disaster for the countries affected by the overthrow of calcified secular autocracies.

In that wretched chaos that has engulfed Libya, Yemen, Syria, and to a far lesser extent Egypt, the Arab Spring protests-turned-revolutions were an overwhelming net loss. Libya today, despite plans for democratic elections at the end of this year is more fragmented than ever before with mercenaries reportedly running amok. There is no-telling whether the UN-fostered Government of National Unity attempted to unite the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord with Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army has any chance of working.

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As anti-regime fervor swept much of Libya in 2011, there was virtually nothing to unify disparate armed groups once Colonel Gaddafi was overthrown and killed.Gun toting optimism quickly turned into violent rivalry. ©2011 Derek Henry Flood