So Qaddafi always thought this could happen, even 42 years into his rule. He feared someone might slice away the myths — Arab nationalist, African unifier, all-powerful non-president — and leave him, disrobed, a little man in a vast vault with nowhere left to go. In the twisted mind of the despot now derided here as “the man with the big hair,” his own demise was the tousle-coiffed specter that would not go away.I just looked through decades of Roger Cohen's columns, and he seems to have missed that Qaddafi might be in danger one day as well. How could he have missed it? Strange, then, that he never thought this could happen!
Strange, then, that the United States and Europe never thought this could happen — not to Qaddafi, or Mubarak, or Ben Ali, or any of the other murderous plunderers, some now gone, others slaughtering their own people, here in Libya, or in Syria, or Yemen. Policy was based on the mistaken belief that these leaders would last forever.
They were paranoid about their fates. We were convinced of their permanence.
Of course it was not just a conviction about their inevitability that drove U.S. policy toward these dictators. It was a cynical decision to place counterterrorism and security at the top of the agenda and human rights — in this case Arab rights — at the bottom. It was about Big Oil interests. And, to some degree, it was about the perception of what served the security of America’s closest regional ally, Israel.
Equally strange is that he is not predicting that the same thing could happen to Mahmoud Abbas, or the Saudi royals, or Turkey's leadership, or Iran's. No, Cohen can blame the US for bowing to Zionist perceptions in their blindness, but his brilliance - where he can confidently predict what the US and Europe are too stupid and shortsighted to see - is still being obscured.
Come on, Roger - tell us who's next!
And why didn't you sound the alarm in, say, 2008? Wasn't it all so obvious to pundits who don't have the Zionist and counter-terrorist smoke in their eyes?