One of the most eccentric and ruthless heads of state is dead. In his life-time he surrounded himself with gun-toting female bodyguards, and for years he traveled with a voluptuous Ukrainian nurse. He brought along a Bedouin tent to sleep in when he traveled abroad, and once attended a summit in Belgrade with six camels and two horses in tow. Gadhafi wore flowing robes, favored oversized sunglasses and received Botox injections. His peacock-style military uniform reminded me of Joseph Stalin whom I remember from portraits seen in my childhood. Later Leonid Brezhnev had five stars of the  Soviet Union Hero on the left part of his chest and a common joke was that his left shoulder had to be elongated in pictures– to make it big enough for the stars and for kilos of other “rewards.”  Why are dictators so vain? Or, they wouldn’t be dictators if they weren’t vain?

Gadhafi got what he deserved. However, when I was watching the rebels on all the channels today as they celebrated their victory, dancing in front of the cameras and shooting into the air, it seemed to me that Gadhafi wasn’t dead at all. He was living in each of the rebels. In the aggressiveness of their joy, in the vehemence of their anger… In their stupid vanity.


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