Flag of new hope flies over Libyan local’s home
VAIL, Colorado – It’s a paradigm shift for Roxanne Tatanaki to talk about Moammar Gadhafi in the past tense, but she’s getting the hang of it.
“I’ve had the whole world calling me since 5 o’clock in the morning,” Roxanne said Thursday afternoon while enjoying a celebration lunch in Vail’s Alpenrose.
From the Tatanaki home flies the new Libyan flag, the rebel flag.
“I lived in Libya 40 years ago, before Gadhafi. It’s the only country I can honestly say was better 40 years ago than it is now,” Roxanne said.
Her husband, Yilmaz Tatanaki, is from Libya and was on his way there on business, but was stuck in Cairo when the fighting broke out.
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The news is coming out of Libya in tidal waves.
Moammar Gadhafi is dead. His son, Saif al-Islam is too (still officially unconfirmed when this was written Thursday afternoon). Their 42-year reign is over.
“He’s dead,” Roxanne said, her smile lighting up the room.
“This is incredible news for the people of Libya. He’s a killer. He rules by total fear,” Roxanne said. “It’s also an indicator to other countries with dictators that there is hope.”
Most international messes are complicated. Libya’s is not, Roxanne said.
“He stole all the money. He doesn’t spend it all, but he keeps it for power,” she said.
They’ve found between $80 billion and $150 billion. He had gold bullion stashed all over the country, she said.
“The people will finally reap some benefit from the country’s wealth,” Roxanne said. “They’ll have a chance for a proper education, which has gone completely down the chute since Gadhafi took over.”
And Libya without Gadhafi has so much going for it, Roxanne says.
• 1,000 kilometers of untouched Mediterranean coastline.
• More oil than anyone knows what to do with. It has $136 million per day in oil revenue, she said, and billions more are still there.
• As much as anything, Gadhafi’s horrors are over.
“The horrors of what he’s done go on and on,” she said.
Gadhafi called the rebels who rose up against him “rats,” but in the end it was he who was captured cowering in a drainage pipe full of rubbish and filth.
There were conflicting accounts about Gadhafi’s final hours, with the interim government saying he was captured unharmed and later mortally wounded in the crossfire from both sides. A second account described how he was already wounded in the chest when he was seized and later sustained the other wounds.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or email@example.com.