I wanted to follow up on my last blog post on the death of Muammar Qaddafi in which I advocated he be buried quickly so that Libyans could get a sense of closure and move on.
Libyans more than anyone else had suffered enough of the atrocities committed under Qaddafi’s rule.
I was surprised by some readers’ comments on how Qaddafi’s death revealed the “true” savage nature of the Libyans, Arabs and Muslims. Qaddafi’s death at the hands of his killers is apparently symptomatic of the entire Muslim world.
Apparently we’re all a bunch of blood thirsty thugs. Oh, and we like to have our photographs taken with corpses like others do with celebrities.
It is just plain silly to equate the actions of a group of men ─ brutalized and repressed for decades by an authoritarian and cruel dictator like Qaddafi ─ as somehow indicative of what we can expect from the new Libya.
I thought it was obvious to say don’t judge a country by what one mob does.
Apparently it bears repeating.
The newly liberated Libya has many challenges ahead (obviously), one of which is maintaining law and order (again obviously) but since Qaddafi’s death, there has not been a reported surge in extra-judicial killings.
And while I’m on the subject of Qaddafi’s death, I came across something interesting in Robert Fisk’s column on Oct. 29, 2011 in The Independent.
He wrote about a newspaper report he read when U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was in Tripoli. He had then cut out the clipping (I hear his newspaper archives are the stuff legends are made of) because of its incredulity: “We hope (Qaddafi) can be captured or killed soon … so that you don’t have to fear him any longer.”
Enough conspiracy theories have been put forward about the sheer timing between Clinton’s visit and Qaddafi’s subsequent death a few days later, so I won’t add to them.
What I will say, however, is that the trend of extra-judicial killings carried out by the United States ─ Osama bin Laden, its own citizen Anwar al-Awlaki, scores of alleged militants in Pakistan and Yemen that are killed in drone strikes ─ should be a cause for great concern. Especially as it does not garner the media attention that Qaddafi’s death did.
While the U.S. had no role to play in Qaddafi’s death, Clinton’s statement could be indicative of a far more brazen attempt by President Barack Obama’s administration to handle its perceived aggressors in a manner it deems fit.
How are they then different to the thugs who killed Qaddafi and now represent the new Libya?