I do not think most people (if any) on
this list have claimed that Qaddafi "has been slaughtering his own people." I think some have argued (e.g., Michael B.) that Qaddafi will/might "slaughter his own people," therefore felt like the other countries, including the United State, should intervene "to stop a genocide" like in Rwanda. We have discussed this proposition in some detail and I need not go over them again.
However, Qaddafi's rule is certainly no democracy (bourgeois or otherwise). Prior to imperialist intervention and the current civil war Qaddafi forces were putting down peaceful protests. There are reports of previous massacres, like the Abu Salim 1996 mass executions of political prisoners (reportedly up to 2500 prisoners were executed). These have been reported
widely in the press and by investigative journalists like Lee Anderson in the New Yorker. Clearly, an autocrat's 40-plus rule has not been all milk and honey for his subjects. Class rule is a repressive rule and massive attacks can happen even in bourgeois democracy--take a look at the police next time attending a union rally or an anti-war protest, they are to ensure "law and order" is kept, that is, the class rule.
The problem as far as I can see are two errors. To focus entirely on imperialist oppression of the Middle East and North African peoples and end up giving political support to "anti-imperialist" dictators like Qaddafi. Or, to focus exclusively on these autocrats and be willing to support imperialist intervention in the hope to prevent
this or that atrocity against the people.
A class analysis reveals that the ruling classes of the North and the South belong to the same capitalist club that has its own hierarchy. Sometimes, some "nationalist" leader rise up against the imperialist masters, but never to allow the working people form their own state and take their destiny into their own hand. Like Qaddafi, the nationalist leader will come back to the imperialist fold--as he did during the past decade. The fact that the masters prefer a more subservient ruler in Libya or Syrian or Iran does not means that these regimes are not highly repressive of their own people.
The difficult task for the extremely weak socialist currents today is to oppose imperialist interventions and wars as well as the oppressive regimes in the South by supporting the struggle of the peoples in these countries to full human rights.