Toppling a Brutal Dictator Using Brutality. Is It Ever Justified?

Posted on October 22, 2011

Defiant in death, Gaddafi alternately pleaded for his life and fired derogatory remarks at  his captors.  His time in captivity was of unknown length before his death.  This much we do know as laymen.
  • He was alive when he came out of the storm sewer and was  placed in a vehicle but he was bloodied.
  • He was alternately propped up and pushed.
  • He was surrounded by screaming people.
  • He was surrounded by people at close range who stopped screaming long enough to capture the moments of is captivity on an electronic device.
  • His dead body was next to be photographed both in a kind of sheet and then on the floor of a temporary morgue.

He had a powerful friend in Putin

Personally, it is difficult to view the pictures of his capture and not feel as if you want to intervene to keep any human being from being treated as he was.  Here was a man who authorized and/or carried out torture, murders and rapes as weapons of war. He sought to instill fear in his subjects as a means to control them.  All of this was and is unsettling.

But to see the “winning” side employ his same tactics on him somehow seems more horrific. And because the US gave support and cover to these victors, it becomes even more unsettling.  How can we be involved in this level of violence?  How can we not speak out?  At the very least we need now to join in petitioning the UN to investigate the circumstances surrounding his death.

The voices of Libyans on the matter are now surfacing as they are beginning to realize that Gaddafi is really gone.  In a Reuters news release that documents many of the facts surrounding his death and that of one of his sons, a man waiting in line to see for himself that Gaddafi was indeed dead addressed the issue:



Asked if it would not have been better for Gaddafi to stand trial,  Abdulatif, a pilot waiting in line, said:

“What would he tell the mother whose children were killed or the girls who were raped?”

“If he lived and was killed a thousand times, that would still only be a trifle.”


Close to the tribes – The Barberry Tribes perform for Gaddafi

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