Libyans finally get to laugh at Qaddafi
With Muammar Qaddafi on the run as his regime falls to the Libyan people, ordinary citizens who lived under more than 40 years of dictatorship can finally laugh at the man who tormented them.
Time magazine covers the story from the dusty town of Tobruk, where a group of Libyans crowd around a television in a roadside cafe to watch Qaddafi’s rambling, babbling speech amid the fallout of popular revolt.
“In ‘Free Libya,'” Time reports, “people are laughing at Muammar Gaddafi as he goes on and on in a speech, dressed in a traditional outfit called a jard.”
The viewers, though poor, “now have the luxury of poking fun at the man who once had the power of life or death over them. ‘He has a hole in his shirt,’ one says. ‘Now he is a poor man!” another shouts. They all laugh.
“The men feel they can now call falsehoods for what they are.”
“The crowd tonight was very angry from the Gaddafi speech,” one local man tells Time. “He views us like his farm, his cows. And he told us, ‘If you don’t stop the revolution, I will fight you with the Community of Sahel-Saharan States [An economic union founded by Gaddafi in 1998], with Chad and Mali and Sudan.’ And he said all of this is not the beginning of the fighting. But I think it’s his last hours. For us, we are laughing at him.”