tv BBC World News America PBS October 20, 2011 4:00pm-4:30pm PDT
>> and this is "bbc world news america" reporting from washington. colonel gaddafi's final moments caught on film. these are the last minutes of the man who terror as libya for 42 years. he was shot dead during crossfire between his supporters and government fighters. >> we shot him. >> what now for the international mission? nato will meet on friday to decide how to end the military campaign. welcome to our viewers on pbs
and around the globe. he called the rebels rats. in the end, he was the one trapped in a dream. muammar gaddafi, who ruled the deal with an iron fist for 42 years, is dead. he was killed by rebel fighters in his hometown of sirte. bloody images were shown on libyan television. libyans took to the streets to celebrate. our correspondent reports now from tripoli. >> he is finished. the only lived through a fraction of his 42-year rule. not too young for celebration. as news emerged of the death of the fugitive leader, the capital erupted in an explosion of relief and joy. civilians, young and old, all headed out harm to the streets.
>> we have done what we have to do. gaddafi is finished. gaddafi is dead. >> we killed gaddafi. we kill the criminal. >> with these dramatic developments, [inaudible] hope to build a new future. from hiding, muammar gaddafi released several messages, calling and his supporters to rise up. there were fears he could help direct an insurgency. the interim prime minister came out to announce the news. muammar gaddafi has been killed, he says. we libyans have been waiting for a long time for this historic moment.
how he was killed and by who is being investigated. ♪ for these libyans, the only thing that matters was that the man they had hated and feared for so long was gone. they celebrated into the night. a 12-year-old has a cousin lying injured in hospital. >> i am so happy. so amazing. i could not be more happier than to the. >> within the next couple of days, the authorities will declare the liberation of libya, paving the way for political protests here. the parties have only just begun. bbc news, tripoli. >> scenes of jubilation in the libyan capital tripoli. our correspondent is in sirte. you may find some of the graphic images disturbing. >> it must have been a painful,
bewildering, terrifying and for the man who had ruled libya through fear and force for more than four decades. these pictures found on the mobile phones of the men who captured gaddafi showed him still live shortly after he was dragged from a ditch on the outskirts of the city. after that, we are told he was taken by ambulance to a hospital outside sirte and from there to misrata. somewhere along that journey, colonel gaddafi died, bringing the final end to his 42 years in power. the reaction from the fighters in sirte was jubilant and ecstatic as news hit home. the sight of his own personal gold and pistol was all the evidence they needed. the men who were there when he was taken are already becoming legends in their lifetime,
revered by their comrades. this is where the fighters say they found colonel gaddafi hiding. they dragged him out of here. one fighter said to me, the former libyan dictator, what have i done to you? fighters poured into the ditch to see the place where muammar gaddafi spent his last moments as a free man, crawled into a sewage pipe running under a main road on the upper town. the site has become an instant photo opportunity. >> bye bye, muammar gaddafi. you will go to hell. >> amid the celebration, arguments erupted over who had been the one to actually captured the former dictator. this man said it was he.
these are the people who sense that today they have made history. back to the gruesome reminder that one man goes of victory is another's defeat appeared across the road from the ditch where colonel gaddafi was captured, the remains of this, they lay scattered in the dust. the cars were hit by a nato airstrike as they were trying to escape. gaddafi's entourage incinerated by french missiles. as these former rebels enjoy their day of victory, the sounds of shooting can still be heard. not all that is celebration. the leader may be dead, but some of the loyalists have not yet surrendered or been captured. tonight, in the birthplace of libya opposed a former dictator, the fighting isn't quite over yet. bbc news, sirte. >> still, an unsettled situation there in sirte.
our correspondent is in the capital of tripoli. i spoke to him a short time ago. there is still some kind of confusion around the circumstances surrounding his final moment. what more do we know? >> the suspicion is that you put the pictures together and pull up the missing pieces. he was captured alive and at some cocoa, he was shot dead by his captors. that does not upset many people in libya. he had many of his opponents killed in brutal fashion. the fact that he died like that does not upset many people. they are -- some are saying he was wounded in a firefight between his security forces and the soldiers and that gaddafi died from those injuries. whatever the story, gaddafi is dead and most libyans are not unhappy about that.
this has been a remarkable day. not only has the fighting ended in sirte, but the fact that colonel gaddafi was in sirte to many as remarkable. we knew that somebody was in there. we thought it was one of his sons. when the convoy tried to break out, it was attacked by french aircraft. little did we know at the time that gaddafi was in the convoy. the end of fighting and the end of colonel gaddafi does bring an end to this civil conflict in libya. they can really begin the difficult work of fixing the broken country, not just a country that has been decimated physically, but also, there are many problems here that have to be fixed as well. here in tripoli, everyone is very happy. the partying on the streets is going on behind me. it is a bigger party then we had a few months ago. >> ok. we are in tripoli.
i know you will be going to misrata as well. thanks for a much for joining us. ok. the fighting part of this revolution effectively over. president obama today said there is still a long and winding road ahead for libya. >> for four decades, the gaddafi regime ruled the libyan people with an iron fist. human rights were denied, innocent civilians were detained, beaten come and killed, and libby's wealth was squandered. the enormous potential of the libyan people was held back in terror was used as a political weapon. today, we can definitively say that the gaddafi regime has come to an end. the last major regime's stronghold has fallen. the new government is consolidating the control over the country. one of the world's longest- serving dictators is no more. >> president obama speaking at the white house. one of the americans who pushed
hardest for the u.s. to get involved in the nato mission in libya was florida's senator mark o. rubio. he recently returned. i spoke to him a short time ago. thank you for joining me. you have been an advocate of the bank commission. i imagine you feel this justifies your position. >> it is an opportunity for the libyan people to start a new history and future. today they get to turn the page. the credit belongs to them for taking up this cause. i know they're grateful for the help they got from nato, but ultimately, i am happy for the libyan people. they have an opportunity to build for themselves a free and prosperous libya. >> senator rubio, canadians have already said they think they will end their military involvement within the next couple of weeks. nato is meeting tomorrow in brussels. do you think it is now time for the international community to step back from its military involvement? >> let me say that though we visited there and i care about the issue, i am not privy to all of the military information.
it was a no-fly zone. for the most part, from what i am seeing from reports, the elements of the gaddafi loyalists have been crushed. i think the libyan people would welcome that. one of the things we picked up on when we were there is that one of the no-fly zone could be lifted because they did want transit and people flying into libya. they wanted to get back to a sense of normalcy. we would hope we are in the process now of transitioning toward that appeared >> when you returned, it was a couple of weeks ago. you describe yourself as cautiously optimistic about the future of libya. is that how you feel today? >> sure. remember, the rebels have been largely based out of the in gaza. -- benghazi. they were waiting for the country to be unified. wearily one step closer toward that. i'm cautiously optimistic. i think they want a better
future and a free and prosperous libya. there are some pitfalls along the way they recognize. they have armed militias. you have to convince them to lay down their arms and buying into some sort of a national reconciliation process. you have a lot of injured people that will need to be rehabilitated. you have a lot of destroyed infrastructure. roads, bridges, buildings have to be rebuilt. there are challenges. i think it will be a long road. i think it is when they're willing to figure >> ok. thank you very much for joining us. this day has been decades in the making. colonel gaddafi first seized power in libya in a bloody coup in 1969. he became one of the most ruthless dictators in the world. over the years, he controlled and tortured thousands of his own people. john simpson looks back now on the of the's rule. >> i cannot leave the honorable soil of my country.
>> many people doubt that, but he didn't try to escape. he died as he said he would. it is hard to remember how glamorous he once seemed to many people to be. in september, 1969, when he seized power, he looked like a symbol of 1960's revolutionary sheik -- chic. libya's living standards rose sevenfold thanks to the newly discovered oil. gaddafi's political ideas started to do real damage. he decided that shops were nests of exploiters and abolished them in favor of regional supermarket. it was a disaster. people went hungry. he claimed he was just a figurehead and that the libyan people ran everything through democratic committees, but that was pure fiction. he was the boss, and his secret
police terrified everyone into obeying him. his total disconnect between rhetoric and reality was characteristic of the entire gaddafi system. as a result, it was really her to interview him, as i first round in 1979. was the influence declining, i asked him. >> wait, no. you mean the influence of america? >> when i asked about all of the arms he had given the ira in northern ireland, he simply refused to answer. some of his supporters were acting like terrorists themselves. in london in 1984, during the siege of the libyan embassy, an official inside fired out at the police and killed ivan fletcher. after the bombing of u.s. servicemen in berlin, which may or may not have been colonel
gaddafi's work, the u.s. president ronald reagan ordered the bombing of libya in 1986. gaddafi escaped. he made immense propaganda out of it all. libya got the full blame for the lockerbie bombing, which made colonel gaddafi pariah for years, but a pariah with oil. libya became more and more corrupt. gaddafi still describes himself as a poor better whenbedouin -- poor bedouin. i ask them about it tends to kill him. >> of course, it is true. -- i asked him about intents to kill him. >> of course, it is true. >> it was the british and americans who were most determined to bring him in, something which still attracts a lot of criticism. >> the country is prepared to
say, we want to put the past behind us. we want to give up chemical and nuclear weapons capability. we want to seize our ties with terrorist groups. then we will be willing to open up to that. >> for over 40 years, colonel gaddafi seemed like a fixture. now, almost everyone in libya is celebrating his fall. he won't leave any kind of system behind him. he remained an oddball right to the end. >> colonel gaddafi, 40 -- 42 years of violent road. now he has gone. what does it mean for the country's or future? joining me from new york is the deputy international editor of "time" magazine. you wrote earlier that there could now be a period of jockeying for power in libya.
what do you mean? >> well, there are different factions. we cannot call them rebels anymore, but the transitional government is not one homogenous body. there are many factions within that. the represent different tribes, different geography, and it is expected that they will have some sort of a reckoning amongst themselves about how they should share their power. i don't want to overstate it. i am on the whole optimistic. i think there will be a certain amount of political discourse for awhile before things get better. >> getting rid of muammar gaddafi was the kind of one idea that the different factions of the coalition rebel movement shared, wasn't it? it was the glue that held them together. >> sure. historically, there are rivalries between east and west. there are tribes, a great many of them, some of them who have been down and now see an
opportunity. we see this in other contexts. iraq is struggling to come together. bosnia, long after the end of the work, has not come together politically as a need to. this is a very pivotal aspect. the ntc will get a boost out of what happened today. it has resources to be an effective government. there are great political challenges. >> we wonder what they need most now from the international community. >> i think it needs expertise. funds had been frozen. they need them to be released. on the whole, unlike a lot of other countries, they do not need a handout from the west. it needs expertise. it needs expertise in creating a democratic institution, modern businesses, investment, consultants, and it needs advice. that is something the west is in a position to give. even though we may have economic
problems, we can help. >> it looks like the military part of the nato mission is now ending. >> absolutely. in the coming days, the military mission there will end. you could see some continued military support, for example. libya is awash with weapons. so, getting a handle on these weapons, helping with the effective control of these various militias, these are things where there can be military expertise as well as political expertise. the other key is the economy. if the people feel invested, if they can see that after the regime of gaddafi, the economic benefits are being widely shared, that is the kind of glue that can keep this coalition together. >> we talked about technical expertise. also, economic help as well. to what extent are the fears voiced here in washington that there might be a strong islamist
component? have they overplayed those fears or is there a real concern? >> i think they are overplayed. the infamous presents exists, certainly not to the degree that i have seen in egypt, even less than in tunisia. i think there will be that element to any future political system. there will be islamist parties. i think the fears that you sometimes see expressed in washington are terribly overblown. on the wall, libyans, they are obviously muslim -- on the whole, libyans, they're obviously muslim, but they are the people that are not particularly perceptible -- susceptible. >> thank you very much for joining us in the studio. thank you, both of you. you are watching "bbc world news america."
as the celebrations continue into the night, how the first protests grew. world leaders have hailed the death of colonel gaddafi. here in america, there was little criticism of the way he was killed and satisfaction that he was gone. one of the first responses came from the u.s. secretary-general speaking at headquarters in new york. ban ki-moon called on all sides in libya to avoid revenge attacks. >> this marks a historic transition for libya. in the coming days, we will see scenes of celebration. yet, let us recognize immediately that this is only the end of the beginning. the road ahead for libya and its people will be difficult and
full of challenges. now is the time for all libyans to come together. libyans can only realize the promise of the future through a national unity and reconciliation. combatants on all sides must lay down their arms in peace. this is a time for healing and rebuilding, for generosity of spirit, not for revenge. as libya's transition prepares the way for elections, and takes many other steps toward building their own nation, their new nation, [inaudible] inclusion must be the word. all libyans must be able to recognize of themselves in the nation's government and leadership the high hopes sustained through the long days
of revolution and conflict. they must translate into opportunities and justice for all. >> the un secretary general speaking in new york and sang the same thing to international leaders around the world. -- and saying the same thing to international leaders around the world. libya's uprising began back in february with the first street protests and it quickly grew into an international effort to depose a dictator. our middle east editor looks back now at his downfall. >> libya was where the first sweetness of the arabs wing turned -- arab spring turned sour. it was the counter-revolution of the arab dictators and the people who no longer wanted to be his fought back. what started as a chaotic flight by the rebels turned with foreign help into successful insurgency. they won the war. keeping the peace and winning it is the next challenge. colonel gaddafi had a spring in
his step when i met him in tripoli in march. he seemed to relish taking on the world again, or at least the west and some of his arab enemies. he was defiant. after 42 years at the top, he insisted the libyan people were behind them. >> they love me. they love me, all. >> those who supported him and those who hated him died. no one really knows how many people have been killed in the civil war. the uprising started in and around benghazi, a place that had been neglected and whose citizens were never trusted. the feeling was new -- mutual. a hard fight lay ahead for the rest of the country. in tripoli, gaddafi turned his forces on demonstrators who
wanted, like the egyptians, to overthrowing dictator who had ruled for decades. night after night in tripoli, the spokesman pushed the gaddafi regime's line, defiance and threat. >> who gave you the right to intervene in our internal affairs? you will regret it. >> in the end, the decisive moment came when the arab league called for the establishment of a no-fly zone. nato bombing in military training for the rebels breached his regime until it collapsed. libya now has a clean slate, a new start. it has big reserves of oil. money will not be a problem. the country has no tradition of democracy. there are hopes of elections within two years. >> an exciting day for libya. this is "bbc world news america." thank you so much for watching.
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