Looks like months of desperate fighting and daily NATO strikes have finally paid off. The Libyan rebels are largely in control of Tripoli. We’re not sure where Mad Qaddafi is now, as he’s been missing for quite some time. Rumor had it that last week he’d escaped into Tunisia, but I haven’t seen him anywhere around here. Today he sent someone over to blow up an unspecified embassy in Tunis (the would-be terrorist defected instead), so it’s probably much more likely that Qaddafi will be landing in Cuba or Venezuela within the next few days.
However, his son Saif al-Islam has been taken captive by the rag-tag rebel army, and will soon be on his way to the Hague to face trial for crimes against humanity. Smooth, polite, bespectacled Saif looks and acts nothing like his father. On Libyan State T.V., while Qaddafi typically appeared bizarrely dressed, madly screaming and wildly flailing his arms, Saif was the picture of cool, collected reasonableness. Under his spell, it was almost possible to believe that the brave rebels really were just a handful of shiftless troublemakers hopped up on free drugs. And who but Saif could drop the slick Western veneer at a moment’s notice and suddenly grow out a beard and look perfectly Islamic when tactics changed.
Saif was prepared to carry on the Qaddafi legacy with a cold-hearted finesse that would have made his father proud, even if he couldn’t quite match the iconic paternal flamboyance. He was accustomed to living the high life in Western society and being wined and dined by the Queen at Buckingham Palace. But it’s over for Saif now. Rebel sympathizers in London watched the news of his arrest from Saif’s own ten million pound mansion in Camden, which they took over in March, absente reo.
Here’s the real kicker, though. The London School of Economics is currently investigating reports that Saif’s recent PhD thesis was plagiarized. How much worse can life get, really?