This is one of those stories that seems too good to be true, so there’s probably a dark cloud rolling in somewhere. But let’s enjoy the silver lining for a moment.
Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi’s son, Seif al-Islam Gadhafi, actually said Wednesday (March 24) that all Arab countries should accept President Bush’s challenge to discard their dictatorships and embrace democracy.
"Instead of shouting and criticizing the American initiative, you have to bring democracy to your countries, and then there will be no need to fear America or your people," Seif told Al-Jazeera television. "The Arabs should either change or change will be imposed on them from outside."
Seif also said he has no intention of succeeding his father, as so many other dictators’ sons have. He obviously was referring to Syria's dictator Bashar Assad, who took power in 2000 when his father, Hafez Assad, died. Seif Gadhafi wants this illegitimate tradition to end. He wants to see a free Libya.
"Many Arab countries are now following the policy of inheriting the leadership, but there are hundreds of Libyans who are better (suited) than I," he said.
These are the beautiful words of a democrat living in an undemocratic world. Perhaps he is the only Libyan who could speak so honestly in public, but it’s a courageous beginning.
The words are reminiscent of Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak’s Jan. 1 comment that his son, Gamal, would not automatically succeed him. The Arabs are responding to the siren song of democracy.