The “Mad Dog of the Middle East” Is Gone for Good
CNN, Fox News, the Associated Press, and other major news sources are confirming today that Moammar Gadhafi, the brutal dictator who ruled Libya for four decades, has been killed by rebel forces near his hometown of Sirte: click here for the CNN story
And no one is mourning his passing—at least, not publicly.
Ronald Reagan is reputedly the one who dubbed Gadhafi “the mad dog of the Middle East” back in the 1980s. Since then, the reclusive and eccentric Gadhafi had become even more of a mad dog, making President Reagan’s observation not only apt, but maybe even semi-prophetic.
So what does one do with a mad dog? He puts it down. It’s the safest and most humane thing to do. And that’s what NATO, in collusion with Libyan rebel forces, has done.
The question now is, who or what will replace Gadhafi? Other oppressive Arab regimes have fallen this year, most notably the one in Egypt, and we’re asking the same question about them, too.
This wave of change that has swept over the Middle East and Northern Africa (known popularly as “Arab Spring“) has been welcomed by just about everyone around the world; however, people are still wondering what the ultimate outcome will be. Will countries like Egypt and Libya become true democracies? Or will even more oppressive Islamist regimes (like the one in Iran) finally seize control?
Speculation about Libya’s future started months ago, long before Gadhafi’s demise. Israel National News (Arutz Sheva) ran this op-ed piece in September: “Libya’s Ideological Precipice—Islamist or Secular?” (click here to view)
The problem in most of these countries is that they are a patchwork of many smaller Arab tribes and clans. The strong, iron fist of a central government was required to hold these diverse factions together. Under a more soft-line, democratic regime, countries like Libya might fall into tribal civil war and eventually find themselves divided into two or more smaller nations or provinces.
As for what lies ahead—I don’t have a crystal ball, but I do have a Bible. The ancient prophets provided interesting clues about the future of the Arab lands. Prophetically, Libya is destined to come under the Anti-messiah’s sphere of influence during the coming Tribulation (Dan. 11:41-45). The current political stirrings throughout the Arab world could easily be a prelude to the fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy. Whether or not this is so, only time will tell.
We’ll keep you posted as further developments warrant.