During my political science discussion section today, we spent some time analyzing the effects of Col. Gaddafi’s recent death, with an emphasis on the future of Libya. One of my colleagues argued that a flare in tribal tensions is inevitable, as managing factional relationships was undeniably one of the former leader’s talents. In fact, according to my fellow, Gaddafi’s death would “exasperate the problem.”
While the late colonel was unquestionably quite exasperating (a certain speech before the UN General Assembly in 2009 in which Gaddafi suggested, among other things, moving UN headquarters to Libya to save some leaders jet lag comes to mind), it is unlikely that his death will cause undue exasperation among tribes, and it certainly will not exasperate the problem of intertribal violence. More likely is that his death will exacerbate — or intensify — the issue. Save yourself, as well as those around you, unnecessary exasperation by avoiding my colleague’s error.