We can all breath a little easier knowing that Muammar el-Qaddafi, a man whose life was marked by acts of hatred, terror, and murder, is no longer alive.
Libya’s Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril confirmed the besieged dictator’s death on Oct. 20. He was killed near his Mediterranean coastal hometown of Sirt by opposition forces.
The Libyan civil war began in February 2011 as a series of peaceful protests similar to others in the region as part of the Arab Spring movement. These demonstrations turned violent after forces loyal to Qaddafi killed 38 protestors. This proved to be the fateful undoing of the Libyan strong man.
Violence was not a new tool for Qaddafi. On the contrary, it was one that he has used over and over again in the 41 years that he ruled Libya.
His reign of terror began in 1969. After seizing power he destroyed the Libyan Constitution and replaced it with his own political ideas and thoughts that he called the Third International Theory, which was published as The Green Book.
With the help of his family and rising oil prices, he consolidated his power over the Libyan people. At first it appeared that he was helping his people, but the world began to realize his true nature. He systematically removed all who opposed him, took control of major industries and nationalized oil fields.
As his newfound wealth increased, so did his ambitions. With his revolutionary committees and international hit squads, he projected his ideology upon the world. He supported many militant organizations that held anti-Western and especially anti-American ideals. Many of the militant Islamic groups in Africa, the Philippines, Somalia and other areas of the world will mourn the loss of their most prolific benefactor. Qaddafi, either directly or indirectly, has influenced our everyday lives.
The specter of terrorism became a reality, his philosophies and support helped other men like Osama bin Laden flourish. Countless thousands have died because of him. Billions of dollars have been wasted to counter his influence.
The world will not mourn the death of Qaddafi, but will realize that our lives just became a little safer with one less monster in it.