Beirut: The capture and death of Libya`s
ousted strongman Muammar Gaddafi has sparked an online frenzy
in the Arab world, with social networking sites warning
Syria`s President Bashar al-Assad and Yemen`s Ali Abdullah
Saleh their time is up.
"Gaddafi called his people rats. He ended his life in
a hole like a rat," tweeted @al4a10m in Arabic. "Tyrants, here
is the lesson: your end is inevitable."
For activists and bloggers across the Arab world,
Gaddafi`s demise breathed new life into the popular revolts in
Yemen and Syria, where months-long popular revolts have failed
to oust the autocratic leaders of both countries.
Pictures of Gaddafi, bloodied and bruised, were
plastered on the front pages of newspapers across the region
as online opinions ranged from glee to disgust.
"Gaddafi`s end should be a lesson to the likes of Arab
leaders everywhere -- those tyrants should know that the
minute you point weapons at your own people, you lose your
legitimacy," read an editorial in the Palestinian daily Al
"The third tyrant, dead in a hole," gloated the
independent Egyptian daily Al-Masry Al-Youm, as the
state-owned Al-Akhbar hailed "The end of the dictator."
As graphic images of Gaddafi`s lifeless body
circulated like wildfire in grainy mobile phone footage
online, social networks and blogs exploded with predictions --
often brutal -- of the demise of Saleh and Assad.
"Saleh, did you sleep well last night?" tweeted
@Falihalhajri, addressing the Yemeni leader.
"Ben Ali fled, Mubarak is charged, and Gaddafi was killed.
The more the tyrant resists, the more horrible his
punishment," tweeted @essamz.
"It looks like Bashar will be crucified right in the
middle of Damascus."
Syria`s opposition movement in particular has been
reinvigorated by Gaddafi`s killing, renewing calls for Friday
demonstrations against Assad and giving grim warnings of his
"What happened yesterday sends a clear, forceful and
determined message, especially to the Syrian president," said
Hilal Khashan, political science professor at the American
University of Beirut.
"The message is that the use of extreme force to
repress the people, the iron-fist policy, no longer works,"
Khashan said. "Eventually the people will prevail.
"I think we are beginning to see the seeds of
liberalism in this region. It will be a long march but things