In case you hadn’t noticed, there’s been few tyrants getting toppled in the world this year. I felt a little bit (just a little) for Gaddafi, having been dragged out from his hole or wherever he was hiding, and apparently unceremoniously shot by his former subjects (and I mean subjects).
I imagine that dictators like Gaddafi and Mubarak probably spend most of their time in power, especially in their later years, in a bubble of hubris, believing themselves not only indispensable to their people, but beloved by them. I don’t know if Gaddafi actually believed his own bullshit about the rebels being terrorists and brainwashed drug addicts, but I do believe he thought himself loved by his people, and tended to consider those who protested or rebelled against him to be aberrations and hooligans, and thus could justify his regime’s brutal treatment of them.
I imagine that even in his final days, Gaddafi, deserted by all but his most loyal (or most desperate) supporters, with little more left to his name than a bag of luggage and a toupee, believed that he was the rightful leader of Libya, and that he would somehow once again rule. That surely would make his final moments all the more crushing when dragged out from his bubble, he looked around and only saw the hatred of his people.
I imagine there must have been a moment then that the reality struck him: his bubble was a lie, most Libyans detested him, and they couldn’t wait to discard him like day old fish carcass. Had he been kept alive to face trial, no doubt he would have erected that bubble again, but nevertheless, that moment of realization would have happened.
It is thus that just a sliver of sympathy goes out from me to those fallen tyrants in their moment of revelation, whether summarily executed by former subjects, thrown to rot in their own prison, or sent into permanent exile.
And I feel a similar pang of sympathy to any Microsoft executives who might be watching this video: