The colonel is caught
The demise of Muammar Qaddafi will give new life to the Arab revolution
Oct 22nd 2011 | from the print edition · ·
FORTY-TWO years after he took power in a coup as a handsome 27-year-old captain, Africa’s longest-serving dictator was finally brought to bay on October 20th in his home town of Sirte. At first it was said that Muammar Qaddafi had been wounded. Later reports, as The Economist went to press, suggested he had died. Either way, his demise spells the end of a vile reign. He tormented his own people and made mischief far and wide—in his own country, across Africa and the Arab world, and in the skies and cities of Europe. Some, among his own tribesmen and in parts of sub-Saharan Africa that received his largesse, may mourn his demise. But for the overwhelming mass of humanity, at home and abroad, his capture is a cause of undiluted celebration.