A Saif Al-islam Gaddafi Presidency offers best way out of a failed Libyan state

I  Have A Dream That One Day Saif Al Islam Ghadafi Will Emerge As The President of Libya

Sail Al Islam Gaddafi speaks to the UN at the time when he was still Heir Apparent
Sail Al Islam Gaddafi speaks to the UN at the time when he was still Heir Apparent

Last week a self styled court in Tripoli sentenced Saif Al Islam Ghadafi to death by firing squad. This kangaroo court has since been condemned by the international community and citizens across the globe.

By and large, the death penalty verdict did not come as a surprise, due to the illegality of the Tripoli regime and the level of divisions in Libya.

They wanted some political capital to justify their existence which obviously came with the conviction of Saif Al Islam.

It’s understandable that different people have divergent views about the jailed son of the former Libyan leader Col Muamar Ghadafi due to the activities of his father.

The idealists who associate his father’s regime with evil certainly feel the Saif Al Islam is certainly guilty and deserves a death penalty.

But some of us who believe in the principle of natural justice and empathy feel that passing judgment on anyone requires thorough analysis of facts.

The Legal Arguments Don’t Count

Which crimes were committed by Saif Al Islam Ghadafi?

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, son of late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, attends a hearing behind bars in a courtroom in Zintan, June 22, 2014 . REUTERS/Stringer
Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, son of late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, attends a hearing behind bars in a courtroom in Zintan, June 22, 2014 . REUTERS/Stringer

Al Islam Ghadafi and eight other associates if his father’s regime were sentenced to death by firing squad after being found guilty of ordering the brutal suppression of demonstrations during the bloody uprising that culminated in the killing of Col Muamar Ghadafi.

Apart from, that crime associated with the suppression of demonstrations by armed insurgents during the Arab spring revolutions, they have not come up with any other crime committed by Saif before the war.

Although some of us are not lawyers, we have the legal knowledge to put the issues in perspective.

Common sense dictates that what we normally call war crimes should have been committed against unarmed civilians.

Was this the case in Libya? Not at all!

You and everyone who cared to follow the events in Libya know that the insurgents who torched off the revolutions started by attacking government installations like police stations and military facilities in Benghazi.

What do you expect government to do to armed insurrectionists?

In our laws, here in Uganda, when citizens pick up arms to attack military facilities, they automatically cease to be a civilian and become combatants.

And any action taken against them during those confrontations cannot be considered as war crimes.  When captured such people are not tried by the civil courts but by the military court martial.

This legally means that you cannot slap war crime charges against any government official involved in defense of the state.

And that is what Saif Al Islam Ghadafi is being accused of -, trying to defend the sanctity and peace of the Libyan nation.

 Political Masturbation

The late Muamer Gaddafi with US President Barack Obama
The late Muamer Gaddafi with US President Barack Obama

Therefore by convicting Saif Al Islam to the death penalty, the zealots in Tripoli were therefore engaging in what I can term is political masturbation.

Political masturbation can be regarded as the act of taking a political decision which has no effect on anyone else but yourself.

In the end, you can brag about it, but the reality remains that it has no effect on anyone of your perceived political enemies that you intended to trap.

For instance since Ghadafi he is now holed-up in Zintan, in alleged captivity with another militia, who are actually rumored to be sympathetic to him any decisions you take against him remains futile waste of time.

I mean, if they ( the militia in Zintan) were hostile to him, they would either have killed him on the spot, the way they did to his father, or handed him over to the ICC, as requested by the international community.

But since they have managed to keep him for that long there are chances that he is in good hands that are preparing him for a very bright future.

The prison photographs that have since been taken show a man in a very good health condition.

In such chaotic times of war lords and militias anything can happen leading to a change of fortune for Saif.

But if he manages to live for another two years (which I wish he does), he might live to reign as the next president of Libya.

Why do I say so?

The Good Versus Evil

Saif Al Islam: Could he be the missing link in Libya's failing attempt at state building?
Saif Al Islam holds a PHD from the London School of Economics(LSE): Could he be the missing link in Libya’s failing attempt at state building?

The legal issues surrounding Al Islam Ghadafi aside, this is a man who was known for the good and not the evil aspects of his father’s regime.

In other words, he was the cleanser of his father’s regime to an extent that there were rumors that he was planning to oust his intransigent father.

During the time of the Lockerbie standoff which culminated into the sanctions on Col Muamar Ghadafi’s regime, Saif was still nominally a minor.

But when he came of age, he managed to talk his father out of the intransigence and oversaw dialogue that led to the rehabilitation of his father’s regime.

He managed to do this when he was a student at the London school of economics where he managed to get access to world leaders like former British premier Tony Blair.

This process culminated into the reconciliation gesture that led to the compensation of the Lockerbie victims.

Saif al Islam was also behind the process that led to the disarmament of Libya from what the international community regarded as weapons of mass destruction.

The late Col Muamar Ghadafi had initially refused to disarm, but his son Saif convinced him to do it for the sake of getting back to the fold of international community.

There are others who say that the disbarment was a mistake because it exposed the regime to easy military defeat which later happened during the Arab spring.

Saif Al-Islam, son of the late Muammar Gaddafi, greets supporters in Tripoli During the Libyan uprising
Saif Al-Islam, son of the late Muammar Gaddafi, greets supporters in Tripoli During the Libyan uprising

But the overall objective of the time of getting rid of the sanctions and getting accepted back into the good books of the international community was achieved.

As Libya continues to be marred with violence, with the country effectively having two rivaling governments and two parliaments in Tripoli and elsewhere, there is no clear leader emerging to re-unite the war-torn country.

This chaotic situation plays directly in the hands of Saif Al Islam Ghadafi to emerge as leader, either through elections, consensus or otherwise.

Once he regains his freedom,- which I strongly feel he will-, it will be very difficult to stop Saif Al Islam Ghadafi from emerging as president of Libya.

Like Martin Luther King who had a dream that the black race would live side by side with the white in governing America, I also have a dream that one day Saif Al Islam will regain his freedom and emerge as the next leader to re-unite Libya.

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