by Stephen Lendman
Friday, Oct. 21, 2011 at 9:49 PM
Gaddafi: Dead or Alive? - by Stephen Lendman
Either way he became a legend in his own time. Thursday on the Progressive Radio News Hour, James Petras reported information he received from a reliable Argentina source saying he's dead.
If so, he explained, he'll be Africa's greatest martyr since Congo's Patrice Lumumba. After leading its independence struggle successfully in June 1960, a CIA coup ousted him 10 weeks later.
Joseph Mobutu replaced him, renaming the country Zaire. Looting billions until his 1997 removal, he ran it like a kleptocracy.
January 17, 2011 marked the 50th anniversary of Lumumba's late night firing squad assassination. Belgium and Washington ordered it. At issue was his fierce opposition to Western colonialism. It cost him his life.
He and two associates, Maurice Mpolo and Joseph Okito, were tied to trees and murdered in cold blood. To escape culpability, Belgium exhumed them, dismembered, and dissolved their body parts in acid.
Belgium ruled Congo until 1960. Until his 1909 death, King Leopold II ran it like his private plantation. In his book, "King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa," Adam Hochschild wrote:
"....(U)nlike other great predators of history from Genghis Khan to the Spanish conquistadors, King Leopold II never saw a drop of blood spilt in anger. He never set foot in the Congo. There is something very modern about that, too, as there is about the bomber pilot in the stratosphere, above the clouds, who never hears screams or sees shattered homes or torn flesh."
In his journey into the "Heart of Darkness," Joseph Conrad wrote:
"(O)ne comes to hate those savages....hate them to death....Exterminate all the brutes!" Based on what he saw in Congo, he called it "the vilest scramble for loot that ever disfigured the history of human conscience."
He held all Europe responsible. Fifty years ago, Lumumba was a latter day victim. Dead or alive, Gaddafi's his modern day equivalent. If alive, he's a living legend. If not, he's bigger than life, a symbol of imperial resistance, inspiring millions of Libyans to keep struggling for freedom.
Western media, Al Jazeera and other sources reported his death. On October 20, New York Times writers Kareen Fahim and Rick Gladstone headlined, "Qaddafi Is Dead, Libyan Officials Say," saying:
Al Jazeera and other media showed a corpse said to be Gaddafi. Unidentifiable it could be anyone. A circulating video claims to show his capture. It's so jumbled, it's impossible to tell. Al Jazeera, Western media, and NATO repeatedly lied throughout the conflict. Nothing they report is credible.
Reliable independent sources will have to confirm whether Gaddafi's alive or dead. Past reports about Gaddafi sons dead or captured proved false when they turned up safe and alive.
"Libyans rejoiced as news of his death spread," wrote The Times, "as residents poured into the streets to celebrate."
Well over 90% of Libyans support Gaddafi. Some polls suggest up to 97%. NATO, puppet Transitional National Council (TNC) leaders, and rebel cutthroats are reviled.
Why else would Jamahiriya loyalists contest NATO's ferocity courageously for seven months. They want to live free and won't quit. Alive, Gaddafi leads them inspirationally. Martyred for a just cause even more so.