“Realpolitik led the West to believe that Gaddafi’s dictatorship would go on forever and Gaddafi, convinced that rapprochement with the West would guarantee his survival, underestimated the wrath of his own people.” – Antoine Vitkine
Over the past weeks and months, I have expressed concerns over the relationship between Western states and Gaddafi’s regime and what it meant with regards to achieving justice. Most recently, I wrote a piece on the subject at Opinio Juris. In this context, I thought it would be appropriate to share a recent documentary with readers.
The French docmentary by Antoine Vitkine, entitled Gaddafi: Our Best Enemy, delves into the precarious and messy historical relationship between key Western states (especially the UK, France and the US) and Gaddafi. It is a remarkably insightful film and includes tremendous interviews with key figures, including Condoleezza Rice and Tony Blair, as well as various high-level political advisers.
Vitkine’s documentary is particularly useful in its elaboration of the events and decisions which resulted in Gaddafi – responsible for sponsoring international terrorism and oppressing his own people for decades – being rehabilitated to become an economic, political and military partner of the West. Our Best Enemy also reveals the complex but shrewd political games in which Gaddafi engaged and how Western states consequently propped up his regime by helping him regain both internal and external legitimacy.
I have posted the video, which is available on YouTube, for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!