The Duck Is Dead
Reports from Libya say that Mohammar Khadaffy has been killed in Sirte, possibly after a NATO airstrike on a small convoy of vehicles he may have been traveling in dismounted him. The Telegraph quotes a doctor who says Khadaffy was and died of wounds to the chest and head.
AFP photographer Philip Demazes was covering the fall of Sirte when he heard gunfire from where rebels explained that Kadhafi’s men had tried to break out at night. "So I asked the fighters to take me there," he said. He found a knot of men near a number of large draining pipes. One of them had cell phone video (taken during the daylight hours) of Khadaffy either dead or dying. Other videos obtained by journalists show the prequel: Khadaffy struggling with a mob of men shouting "Allah Akbar".
It is believed the fatal shots may have been fired by a 20 year old rebel, eager to collect the large "dead or alive" reward on the Duck. Khadaffy's British educated son, Saif, is still rumored to be trapped inside Sirte.
Hillary Clinton was briefly interested in the breaking news when she saw some early video on her cell phone but lost interest when told "unconfirmed". But there seemed little doubt the Duck was actually dead. American photojournalist Holly Pickett claims to have seen Gaddafi rushed to hospital in an ambulance with revolutionary forces. "I could see a bare chest with bullet wound and a bloody hand. He was wearing gold-colored pants. We fell back behind the ambulance and they opened rear the door to reveal a partly bald, bloody head with frizzy black hair."
CBS News says, "The 69-year-old Qaddafi is the first leader to be killed in the Arab Spring wave of popular uprisings that swept the Midde East. The Telegraph reported that Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki compared Khadaffy's death to Saddam's, saying they were "proof of the potential of the people."
Both kept the field long after the odds had tipped heavily against them. Unlike Saddam, who was captured by US special forces, Khadaffy met his fate at the hand of a moblike group of combatants. Unlike Saddam, VOA say, Khadaffy "will tell no tale in court". And his silence may be preferred by everyone all around.
Living by the sword is a tough business, in part because retirement from the trade is problematic. There never comes a moment when you can hang up your guns and retire to some farm and raise chickens. All three figures shown below can attest that it is hard to exit from that line of work.
The hard landing happens even to the second tier guys. Imad Mughniyah, the Syrian supported terror entreprenuer was believed to have masterminded the Beirut barracks bombing and US embassy bombings. He called himself Abu Dokhan, the "father of smoke" in honor of what he believed was his ability to vanish. Then one day while walking in Kfar Suseh neighborhood he was killed by a car bomb, planted inside the driver's headrest. "As Mughniyah passed the car on foot, the bomb was detonated. Mughniyeh’s body parts were later found scattered across the street." Thus ended the "father of smoke".
They lived on a macabre stage. Perhaps all of them knew deep down, how it would end. One is almost tempted to misquote Edna St. Vincent Millay:
My candle burns at both ends
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends -
It gives a ghastly light.
And yes, about the gold pants.