Muammar Gaddafi, the aristocratic ruler of Libya since 1969, was overthrown and murdered yesterday as a part of the Libyan Civil War. Gaddafi ruled Libya by force for over 40 years, and the news of the dictator’s death sparked massive celebrations throughout the country until way past the sun set. The news rattled the world and leaders of every main country of the world responded quickly, stating everything from “the shadow of tyranny over Libya has been lifted” (U.S. President Barack Obama) to “We shall remember Gaddafi our whole lives as a great fighter, a revolutionary and a martyr. They assassinated him. It is another outrage.” (Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez). Clearly, there’s a wide spectrum of opinion. In Libya, however, the death of the flamboyant tyrant has come as great relief to the vast majority of commoners. As news of Gaddafi’s death spread across the nation, celebrations sparked.
[ Here, Libyans are intoxicated with joy as they celebrate the death]
Gaddafi was a strange fellow. This article specifies the seven weirdest things about the ruler, ranging from his 40 female, virgin bodyguards to his infatuation with former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. The assassination of Muammar Gaddafi causes extreme disrupt in the political system of Libya. For years, the nation has been under control of a dictator with an iron-fist. Now, the idea of democracy that has seemed so distant from the citizens of Libya since the nation gained independence in 1951 is finally becoming a reality.
My motive for writing this blog post, though, has little to do with Libya or the country’s political future. Gaddafi’s death had an impact on me because of what I observed take place right here in the United States. When I woke up on Thursday and turned on the TV, I immediately saw the news of the dictator’s death on CNN. I wanted to stay and continue to watch the coverage, but sadly, I had to catch a bus from north campus down to class. Once on the bus, I mentioned to my friend about Gaddafi’s death; however, he responded with a blank look. “Who’s that?”, he asked. I was surprised that he didn’t know who he was, but I figured the buzz of the tyrant’s death would be circling around campus, filling up Facebook statuses, and would be the talk of all my classes. It wasn’t. I heard very few people on campus mentioning the event, saw little posts on social media sites, and witnessed no mention by my peers in my classes.
But why is that? The issue was clearly a prevalent issue in the United States, as shown by the constant coverage on Thursday of the Libyan assassination on every major news station. The theory that I have drawn from this situation, however, is that teens in America are withdrawing away from worldly affairs. Now, there are obvious situations that prove this wrong, such as the genocide in Darfur or the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (both of which have seen interest from teens in America), but seeing so many of my peers unaware of a dictator who ruled for over 40 years has made me think otherwise. Even Gaddafi, himself, had an interesting perspective on Americans and our disinterest in the world:
Many Americans don’t know about the outside world. The majority have no concern and no information about other people. They could not even find Africa on a map.
This quote by Gaddafi is pretty extreme, and I think that most of us would disagree with it to most of an extent; however, maybe the recently-assassinated dictator has a point. Are United States citizens not enough engaged in the world? More specifically, is the American youth too disinterested in the events of the world?
This set of questions draws another set of questions revolving around an interesting topic: is it necessary for the American youth to show an interest in the events of the world? That is, the American youth does not show an interest in worldly affairs, and perhaps, they shouldn’t. Maybe the youth of America need to be focusing on domestic issues, such as fixing the economic troubles that reside in our nation or worrying about new tax reforms. So, what do you think? Does the youth of America need to show more interest and involvement in the events and problems of the world at large?