|Traditional depiction of Hell with Red Hot poker up the bum top right|
There is a bit in the Bible about Hell:
Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it
It would appear that Hell has an unlimited capacity to accomodate new recruits. But here on Earth it is a different story. The number of places of sanctuary for the truly evil are declining. It's partly geographical and political, but it is mostly a function of the information age. Sooner or later, but these days, sooner, you will be found and brought to account. Where can a modern despot flee? Somalia?
It is only, I think, in the last ten years that tyrants have begun to understand this. And of course, most tyrants are bullies and most bullies are cowards.
Twas always the case and always will be. To have a fanatic who believes in what he is doing is much more dangerous. Gaddafi is no fanatic, religious or otherwise. Gaddafi is a coward, surrounded by cowards. His strength has always been in his ability to cause those around him to cower in fear.
Gaddafi is fighting for no cause other than his own skin. Those who work for him, largely out of fear, know this. As soon as it becomes clear that ageing Russian technology is no match for a B-2, and it already has, a lot of Libyans will abandon their enforced loyalty to their be-decorated fruitcake leader and scarper.
The rhetoric is always the loudest and most bombastic from cowards. I don't think Saddam Hussein was a coward, but many around him were, and the fled, not once, but twice, in the face of opposition, after all the promises to the contrary of Muhamed Saeed al-Sahaf, Saddam's information minister.
I was interested to note that another tyrant, who rules his country with a combination of fear and bribery, just as Gaddafi did, has been very cool about Western intervention and the kind of precedent it makes; that of assisting a poplular uprising in a rogue state. He is Vladmir Putin. I am sure he is sleeping a little less comfortably tonight, as he most certainly begins to see that in a world that is shrinking, there is no longer nowhere to hide except in Hell. And Hell, at least on Earth, is a very small place.