October 20th, 2011
08:56 AM ET

Zakaria: Not surprised if Gadhafi is dead

If Gadhafi is indeed dead, I would not be surprised. Gadhafi was never likely to surrender. Gadhafi was different from Hosni Mubarak, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali or even Bashar al-Assad.  These other figures are bureacrats or sons of the founders of their respective states. Gadhafi, in contrast, was a founder himself.  He initiated the coup that brought him into power. He was more a Fidel-Castro-type-figure - originally very charismatic and militarily skillful. He took risks. He was not a bureaucrat who would lay down the sword and go quietly into the night.

Read my 2009 interview with Gadhafi here.

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Topics: From Fareed • Libya

soundoff (71 Responses)
  1. Abba

    Why is the weekly podcast shorter. I watch the show sometimes on CNN but i live in Malaysia I cant watch it at 4am all the time and I dont want to miss the entire show.

    October 20, 2011 at 9:41 am | Reply
    • Marcus Moore

      I think it's funny this guy was a dictator for over 40 years and he never got past the rank of colonel!

      October 20, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Reply
      • hi

        That is because he retired as a colonel to become a ruler. He can only be called by his last rank. A soldier is always a soldier.

        October 21, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
  2. Luke

    Well, i heard he was quite the puss begging for his life in the video of his beating.

    October 20, 2011 at 10:02 am | Reply
    • fair_is_fair

      Which makes it illegal dude!

      October 20, 2011 at 8:54 pm | Reply
      • John

        Illegal? Says who? Do you not understand the rest of the world isn't anything like the US? Just look at how those animals drag his body through the street. These "people" are nothing like us. They understand only power. They cannot be reasoned with or trusted. That's why reading columnists like Zakaria is such a joke. He acts as if he's an expert because he was born outside this country. Yet, he's nothing but a liberal hack leaving in dreamland.

        October 21, 2011 at 8:34 am |
    • MannyHM

      I wish he wouldn't have been tortured and killed although it's difficult to restrain oneself when one has the upper hand.
      Had he been alive, he would have been able to point out where the money went to and are hidden.
      Once Gadhafi was captured he's nothing and a nobody. His life at that moment is even lower than that of a beggar begging for food.

      October 23, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Reply
  3. Anne SArdina

    Give credit where it is due. Not to Obama but the rebels in Libya who fought for freedom...

    October 20, 2011 at 10:13 am | Reply
    • breed11

      Who gave credit to Obama? We get it, you don't like the guy, we don't care.

      October 20, 2011 at 11:12 am | Reply
    • Richard Wright

      Amen, Anne. Amen.

      October 20, 2011 at 11:13 am | Reply
    • Futon Torpedo

      Also NATO forces which include the POTUS air war contribution.

      October 20, 2011 at 11:16 am | Reply
    • j. von hettlingen

      Indeed, Gaddafi should have lived long enough to see the nation-building of a new Libya and the happiness he once denied his people. He saw the inglorious end of Ben Ali and Hosni Mubarak and didn't meet the same fate. Mubarak made a pathetic sight as he appeared in court on a stretcher. Gaddafi could die as a martyr as he had once wished.

      October 20, 2011 at 11:31 am | Reply
    • ken

      But without Obamas help Libya's people would still be getting slaughtered. Without Obama's help the people wouldn't have stood a chance, simple as that.

      October 21, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Reply
  4. boarddog

    Initial reports are that he was shot fleeing the rebels. Sounds like another privileged coward trying to run & hide to me.
    Good riddance to another old world POS!

    October 20, 2011 at 10:16 am | Reply
    • vr13

      Whether you like them or not, what do you expect a person, any person to do when surrounded by an overwhelming number of armed rebeles? He has put up as much fight as one could. What would you do instead, hero? Surrender and be killed anyway?

      October 20, 2011 at 11:15 am | Reply
    • Winston

      Privileged? He was born in a tent in extreme poverty. He took power of a country. Tyrant? Yes. Dictator? Yes. Despot? Yes. But privileged? He wasn't given a country...he took it. Now, his children...they are/were privileged.

      October 20, 2011 at 11:15 am | Reply
  5. JOE

    Maybe he didn't surrender because he felt that the unhibited success he had for 42 years would continue despite efforts by NATO to end his reign. In other words, he probably felt invincible and thought that no matter what, at the end of the day he'd still be alive. But he had a chance to leave the country with his family and avoid his demise. Nevertheless, this is good because if he had escaped to another country, he may have regrouped and cause further unrest in the future. He was one of those leaders who I always liked through the earlier years until he started being involved in global terrorism. let's hope the other dictators of the world learn a lesson from his demise and try to chane their brutal ways and be more of an asset to global peace and stability instead of oppression, revolt and anarchy. So long Colonel!

    October 20, 2011 at 10:17 am | Reply
  6. Retired Army in San Antonio

    You can give credit to Obama, too......for not being foolish enough to rush headlong into Libia like the Republicans wanted him to.

    Remember.....how he got ridiculed for "leading from the rear" and for letting NATO to a leadership role?

    THAT.....was the right move!

    October 20, 2011 at 10:17 am | Reply
    • Marine Corps Captain

      Actually, Retired Army moron, anyone with an ounce of military experience, especially anyone calling themselves a Conservative or a Republican, didn't want any part of Libya. There was no reason whatsoever for the USA, NATO or any european forces to enter into Libya. But because Libya services our allies in Europe with huge amounts of their oil....Obama entered us into the little civil war fray. And when the USA enters a fray with our blood and treasure....uhhh....WE should be in charge. Had we actually been in charge it wouldn't have taken NATO and their poor excuse for a "military" over 8 months to despose of old Gadhafi from the 3 building town he was hiding in. Obama is a disgrace and the only credit for Gadhafi's death goes to the individual's who shot the "leader". Obama has more than screwed the pooch on Libya and you're a fool to pretend otherwise.

      October 20, 2011 at 10:56 am | Reply
      • Albert

        When you start by calling someone "moron" you lose credibility.
        No need to offend to express your opinion.

        October 20, 2011 at 11:13 am |
      • vr13

        Totally agree with the capitan. And the irony is that with the country going into the "post-revolutionary" turmoil, the oil production is going to drop anyway and Europe is not going to have the oil it had expected to get. They should have saved the fuel that they used to power the plains in the campaign.

        October 20, 2011 at 11:18 am |
      • kahuna

        The repubs accused him of 'dithering'. Do you remember that word? Dithering! Now please stop trying to rewrite history. The Repubs were wrong, again.

        October 20, 2011 at 11:43 am |
      • William Shelton

        So, Cappie, if what you say is true, i.e., ". Had we actually been in charge it wouldn't have taken NATO and their poor excuse for a "military" over 8 months to despose of old Gadhafi ...", how do you explain 10 years in Afghanistan and 8 years in Iraq, or, for that matter, 15 in Vietnam?

        October 20, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
      • JOE

        You have got to be a Marine Corps Captain on Crack cocaine to be saying that about the supreme chief of your Military. Or you must be going crazy as a Captain in the Marine Corps. America Rocks the world and you must know that. or you are a Lame Captain of the U.S.M.C.

        October 20, 2011 at 12:45 pm |
      • Retired Intelligence Officer

        Glad to see you are retired. You probably served in Vietnam or Gulf Wars. I'm appreciative of your service. That does not make you a political genius.

        October 21, 2011 at 2:07 am |
      • ken

        What would ypou prefer? That the US should've went into war with Libya or the US and NATO should've stayed away and let him slaughter his own people? Seems like Obama made the right decision 100%. I am from Canada and have absolutely no interest in the political race going on right now but I do watch the presidents, past and present, and how they handle world affairs. You guys should be grateful you have Obaama in there and not soemone like Bush.

        October 21, 2011 at 12:16 pm |
  7. Don Gavins

    I do not favour Republicans but find it curious that Democrats in power stall the economy & fight three wars, while media continue to blame Bush/criticize Republican politicians & Hollywood affiliates support stopping Canadian oil.
    Very puzzling indeed.

    October 20, 2011 at 10:19 am | Reply
    • Lou Cypher

      It's not that puzzling, just good old fashioned hypocrisy.

      Hypocrisy is the homage that vice pays to virtue. It's quintessentially human. Embrace it.

      October 20, 2011 at 10:48 am | Reply
    • GT

      If you weren't an idiot, you would not be puzzled. The economy was on the way to a depression, total collapse, when Obama took office. Today, the economy is not where idiots thought it would be– Clintonian economy– but it did not collapse. Show some common sense.

      October 20, 2011 at 10:51 am | Reply
    • Ray Ray

      The liberal media will never report fairly. Liberals hollywood will continue to profit from capitalism but support socialistic ideology. They are hypocrites in the purist sense. They can not debate and discuss differences in a civil setting, they riot, protest and march in the name of change. There days of playing the race and victim cards are dying a slow death.

      October 20, 2011 at 11:29 am | Reply
    • rapidron

      The reason you're puzzled is because you're a slave to the GOP and can't think for yourself. Everything you say has a simple answer to it and no matter what anyone else says (which is why I'm not even going to try here) it won't make a difference to you. You've blinded and deafened yourself to reality so that the GOP can be your slave-masters. Enjoy your hate, anger and worthlessness to our great country.

      October 20, 2011 at 11:33 am | Reply
  8. bored

    Fareed – get a clue.

    Not the type to lay down the sword.....please – the guy was a coward and weasel. He was your typical sociopath, delusional dictator you found throughout the muslim world.

    October 20, 2011 at 10:21 am | Reply
    • PriaseTheLard

      Muslim world? You can't recall any non-muslims who have behaved in a similar manner? Read a bit of history...

      October 20, 2011 at 11:08 am | Reply
    • vr13

      Even if he was a dictator, who said it automatically means being a coward and having no personality. Just the opposite, to get into the power and remain there, he had to show enough strength.

      October 20, 2011 at 11:20 am | Reply
    • Ron

      I spy many people stating opinions as facts.

      October 20, 2011 at 11:22 am | Reply
  9. miketheamerican

    What a great day!!! May Barak Hussein Obama drink the blood of every man, woman and child in Libya!!!

    October 20, 2011 at 10:28 am | Reply
    • cygo

      You gove Americans a bad name.

      October 20, 2011 at 10:55 am | Reply
    • Peter

      AMEN! Obama is a nut job! Equal to Hitler – EVEN Hitler obey the laws!!! Obama obeys the UN, not the US Congress! OH, Obama works as Chairman of the UN. Hmmm, the Logan Act states that is TREASON!!! We need to hang him, as what is required for treason. USA = World's Greatest Terrorist killing over 1 million since 2001.

      October 20, 2011 at 11:35 am | Reply
    • Yu Beipei

      Peter: What the heck?
      Mike: Sorry, but I don't believe that your message is sincere

      October 21, 2011 at 3:02 am | Reply
  10. JT

    I'm grateful no U.S. troops were killed in this war.

    October 20, 2011 at 10:29 am | Reply
    • capnmike

      We HAD no troops in this war.

      October 20, 2011 at 10:41 am | Reply
      • Marine Corps Captain

        So, the American service members who were flying US jets over Libya and dropping US made bombs on Libyan targets were...uhhh....not there? And the jet that was shot down while the 2 pilots were rescued by US T.R.A.P. personnel...uhhh...weren't there? Yeah, stud, we had troops there. We just didn't have 1stMARDIV on the ground. If we had, the "conflict" would have been over in about 3.5 weeks vs over 8 months. Please think before you post.

        October 20, 2011 at 10:53 am |
      • rapidron

        You're pretty ignorant for a Marine Corp Captain–well I mean you sure don't sound like one but I'll take your word for it. 3.5 weeks for the whole country, eh?? Just like Iraq? Just like Afghanistan?

        It must be hard to be a good marine, albeit a REAL ONE (lol) with your pushy opinions over facts. Seems like it would be hard to take and execute orders well with your level of intelligence.

        October 20, 2011 at 11:37 am |
      • Booyah

        I agree. Doesn't sound like an Officer of Marines to me. However, there are certainly no shortage of dumba$$ Marine officers. God knows I served with several of them.

        October 20, 2011 at 12:15 pm |
    • Peter

      Several US troops died in this war. I heard from the soldier from Austin that does the body counts coming into America. He said 3 troops guiding the bombs in died. But probably several more by now. END THE EMPIRE! USA = world's greatest terrorists killing over 1 million innocent civilians since 2001

      October 20, 2011 at 11:32 am | Reply
  11. whos behind the curtain

    Has anyone else put together that the elite are just using the U.S. to take out any country that would be able to resist the new world order. Look out Iran then North Korea. They are all tryants anyway. But whats the difrence between the ones there and the ones we have in office, revolt would be futile here. Sorry waco proved that.

    October 20, 2011 at 10:31 am | Reply
    • capnmike

      If you hate it here so much, put your little tinfoil hat back on and get the F#%# OUT!

      October 20, 2011 at 10:40 am | Reply
      • IDoWhatIWant

        You sound like a damn hillbilly, no wonder people around the world mock us. Comments like that portray you as ignorant, simple minded, and plain dumb. Surprised you didnt end your comment with "git er done!"

        October 20, 2011 at 11:18 am |
    • Peter

      AMEN!!!! Have you noticed how people who do not have the truth, logic or reasoning just attack the person because if they attack the argument/issue they will lose. USA = World's Greatest Terrorists killing over 1 million innocent civilians since 2001.

      October 20, 2011 at 11:29 am | Reply
  12. Booyah

    Militarily skillful? Wha..... I guess if you wear a uniform and can shoot a weapon you are militarily skillful in the middle east. Why not? Everyone thinks the IDF are the greatest army in the world....even though they've only fought civlians with rocks and a few idiot Egyptians.

    October 20, 2011 at 10:37 am | Reply
    • Ron

      No one thinks the IDF is the greatest military in the world. They are the second.... and they are definitely second. If you don't think so why have they not been attacked while they are pretty much surrounded by enemies which want to wipe them off the face of the planet?

      But seriously the iraeli military is mostly feared on the black ops side... (and they have done some scary stuff)

      October 20, 2011 at 11:30 am | Reply
  13. capnmike

    Naw, he wasn't the "type to surrender"...he was the type to hide in bunkers, order others to die on his behalf, and then run away. Typical cowardly bigmouth dictator. Reminds me of Hugo "El Puerco" Chavez.

    October 20, 2011 at 10:39 am | Reply
  14. ThoseAirStrikesWere NotFREE

    The libyan people would lose at the end...the vultures in Europe and elsewhere will steal what they couldn't during Ghaddafi..Ghaddafi terrorized his people, but to think others will "liberate" without agendas is wishful thinking...Congrats Libyans Nato has liberated your resources for their consumption...the Arab spring was a seasonal operation using the ambitions of Arabs to be free- At the end the people will remain slaves because more powerful outside forces will control their governments and their countries to be dependent on those outside forces...but first they will cause divisions among the in every way because the know that any nation whose people are united will result in their independence and self-rule.

    October 20, 2011 at 10:46 am | Reply
    • Peter


      October 20, 2011 at 11:27 am | Reply
    • moazzam

      I totally agree with you brother.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Reply
  15. blkmanjpn

    i hate fareed zakaria!!!

    October 20, 2011 at 11:32 am | Reply
  16. David Keeber

    As I read this string, it really saddens me that the tone of "conversation" here is so nasty. I wonder why we are unable to express our opinions without calling each other names and being insulting. There is nothing wrong with a difference of opinions as there really is no objective truth – it is so much a matter of perspective. This tone is indicative of the entire national conversation and the reason we seem unable to reach any workable solutions. I urge you all to tone it down. Thank you.

    October 20, 2011 at 11:33 am | Reply
    • GUEST

      This is America, that just won't happen. People cling to their ignorance here! Unfortunate, but true. How hard is it to really respect another's opinion?

      October 20, 2011 at 3:17 pm | Reply
    • William Shelton

      David Keeber and Guest, thank you. It is very easy to respect someone else's opinion. All it takes is a willingness to do so.

      October 20, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Reply
  17. RIP

    RIP. Atleast he was a man of his word. He did said he would not leave, he had the chance to run(and the there ware some state ready to welcome him). Hope with his death, there is also real peace in Libya, ppl could start to build.

    October 20, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Reply
  18. joshua

    its unfortunate that america wish to have every thing there is to be under the sun, Gadhafi is gone b'se america wants oil,and now the troops sent in uganda under the guise to fight Kony also target the oil,americans,why are you selff centred? and murderers as well?do you realise you are the root cause of all the problems globally? respect others lives and to hell such americans.

    October 20, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Reply
    • GUEST

      Hey man, someone's got to do it. Why not America?

      October 20, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Reply
  19. Sandman

    Good luck to people of Lybia. You had the most prosperous country in Africa with free education, O% interest mortages, free medical system, free utilities, best GDP, a real direct democracy and much more.

    All of that will be gone. I guess they say you don't know what you have until you loose it.

    October 20, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Reply
  20. Mercury

    USMC Captain.....................I guess thats why you are in the Marine Corps

    October 20, 2011 at 10:02 pm | Reply
  21. Mario De Kauwe

    Ok explain this to me. When LTTE leader Prabakaran was killed, they called for a war crimes investigation. But the video clearly shows that Gadaffi was alive when he was captured, and then you see that he is dead... NOW.. UN, BAN KI MOON, AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL, news media such as CNN and Aljazeera... WHERE ARE YOUR WAR CRIMES INVESTIGATIONS!!!! HYPOCRITES! yes I am sad that Gaddafi is gone. Im just disgusted by the double standards of the the so called 'saviours of human rights'.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:04 am | Reply
  22. moazzam

    Gadafi is gone and so also the independence of the libyan people. Thanks to libyan traitors and uncle sam.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Reply
  23. Piaofu

    Yes Gaddafi was executred. So? This man executed 200+ innocent passengers in a civilian plane. Justice done. Period.

    October 21, 2011 at 9:49 pm | Reply
  24. Johnny

    Yes, thats right, Gaddafi was executed. So what ? That murderer executed 200+ innocent passengers in a civilian airliner – in case you have forgotten. Justice done. Gaddafi was given a humane execution which he did'nt deserve.

    October 21, 2011 at 9:55 pm | Reply
  25. Figgada

    But he was negotiating his surrender before he tried to escape. NATO and the rebels rejected his overtures and he got executed in the end.

    October 23, 2011 at 5:51 pm | Reply

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