The American claim that with the departure of Col Muammar Gaddafi from the scene, the rule of dictatorship has come to an end in Libya and that the Libyans would now be able to lead their lives in accordance with democratic values is simplistic and inaccurate. Several countries in the Arab and Muslim world have seen a transition; where the US and its allies, or elements helped by them, have recently succeeded in toppling governments. In reality, conditions are deliberately created to justify direct intervention by the US and the coalition of the willing, as in Afghanistan and Iraq, or to funnel support and arms to encourage elements hostile to local governments to launch movements to bring them down, as in Yemen and Libya. All the while, the message being promulgated is that this is being done to set the citizens of these countries free from autocratic rules. But the realities on the ground point to the contrary. Neither have the people of Iraq been enjoying the fruits of democracy since Saddam Hussein's fall, nor is there any sign or possibility of Afghanistan seeing a true democracy any time in the foreseeable future. In both countries, the US has built military bases to retain its hold and exercise control of their vast natural resources and extend its influence in the region. Efforts are not being spared to weaken these countries by dividing them into smaller independent states as in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. Col Gaddafi did not, of course, rule like a democrat, but that would hardly have been of any concern to the US and the West; in fact, dictators invariably fit in with US foreign policy rather well. Democracies have the disadvantage of having to respond to the wishes of the people and national interests while conducting the affairs of the state and relations with foreign countries, and the people of these countries. The truth is that it was Col Gaddafis defiance of the West was the reason for his stature in the Muslim world. He ruled Libya for 41 years to the satisfaction of his people, save for a small dissident minority. During this period the country relied on its own vast resources of oil and avoided borrowing money from any of international financial institutions which exercised more than necessary control over its internal dynamics. Col Muammar Gaddafi died unarmed and wounded, in his hometown Sirte, along with one of his sons and 20 supporters; fulfilling his promise that he would not leave his own country till death. His death after seven months of struggle against the rebel force which counted the NATO airforce as part of its defence, is a cause of concern. A dangerous precedent is set where without trial or procedure heads of government are declared guilty and shot while wounded and unarmed. This is not acceptable, especially where a former US President, guilty of war crimes, goes free.