The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

October 24, 2011

Pfeiffer professor shares insight on impact of Gadhafi’s death

By Marina Richardson, Staff Writer

Monday, October 24, 2011 — The death of Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi on Thursday will bring change to Libya and the surrounding countries.

According to Pfeiffer University history professor Juanita Kruse, Gadhafi’s death could cause more conflict in Libya.

“The easiest part is winning the revolution. Revolutionaries almost never get what they want,” Kruse said.

“Gadhafi needed to go, but there’s certainly going to be conflict between groups.”

Various factions opposed to Gadhafi’s regime worked together to help bring him down, Kruse said, but now they will face conflict with each other.

“We hope the people who want democracy can win, but they may not. More radical people often take control of revolutions,” Kruse said.

“If the moderates can’t take control of government quickly, we could get another Gadhafi or an Islamic fundamentalist state.”

The end of Gadhafi’s reign could influence other African nations and Middle Eastern nations, as well as Libya, Kruse said.

“Gadhafi’s government invested a lot all over Africa. He tried to buy favor. Those investments might dry up, and that could have an impact on other African nations,” she said.

According to Kruse, other nations with dictators could be inspired by Gadhafi’s defeat.

“This is one more dictator who has fallen. This could give impetus to bringing down other regimes,” Kruse said.

The Pfeiffer professor mentioned that Syria, ruled by Bashar al-Assad, could be one of the nations inspired to seek a change in leadership.

“This is going to give pause to the al-Assad regime that is brutalizing its people as they try to overthrow him,” Kruse said.

While no Libyan students are currently enrolled at Pfeiffer, some students are from other African or Middle Eastern countries that could be indirectly affected by Gadhafi’s death, Kruse said, and the dictator’s death will be much discussed during classes.

“I teach Civilizations of Africa and the Middle East,” Kruse said.

“We’ve talked about this a bit already in class, and I’m sure it will come up again.”