Thursday, August 25, 2011

Stop Being Gaddafi

Listening to PRI's The World this afternoon, I was struck by a new phrase used in a phone interview held with the LA Times reporter Borzou Daragahi, as he was being harassed by armed rebel fighters in Tripoli as he was talking in the phone to the PRI interviewer Marco Werman.  The local rebel 'boss' was demanding to see the 'work permit' that gave Daragahi permission to work in this area, and he said in Arabic and then in English "Tell your guys to stop being Gaddafi!" (link here - quote at 3:10 mark)

Marco Werman was struck by it too.  Stating that just a few days ago, such a phrase could not have been used in Libya without severe repercussions.  "Tell your guys to stop being Gaddafi!"  Wow.

You can take the oppressive & brutal dictator out of a state, but it is hard to break that mind-set of continued oppression.  I wish Libya the best of luck in their new experiment in creating a less oppressive government.  Hopefully it will go better for them than it did for the US and the insurgency in Iraq, or their educated neighbors in tourist-lean Egypt who are still stuck in a military dictatorship.

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