Sunday, October 23, 2011

Of Course They Shot Gaddafi and They Should Have

The Western world is shaking its collective head over what appears to be the cold-blooded shooting of Gaddafi. Editorialists and pundits solemnly tutor the “barbaric” Libyans that justice should have been done, even for someone as evil as their deposed dictator. Libya and the world would feel better about itself if Gaddafi had been accorded a proper trial.

No. This is not the case. Whether ordered from higher up or not, the bullet to Gaddafi’s head was the best course of action. The “gruesome” display of his body was also called for. The Libyans needed to be convinced that he was dead to head off legends of a return from the desert. The television coverage I saw showed solemn and almost respectful crowds waiting in line to view the body. They knew why they were there and why they brought their children.

If Gaddafi had been taken captive, the new Libyan state would have had to figure a way to organize a trail. They would be pestered by their NATO saviors with advice bordering on instructions.  A Libyan trial would be second-guessed as a kangaroo court. The rabid anti-capital-punishment Europeans would oppose the death penalty the Libyan court was bound to impose. The Libyans would also have to consider requests to turn Gaddafi over to the Hague Court. If they did Gaddafi would survive, albeit in jail.

A captive Gaddafi would have been a large liability to a people already facing huge problems.

We apparently faced a similar choice in the killing of Bin Laden. Presumably, we decided we were better off with a dead Bin Laden than a live one.  Also I do not think Iraq and the Western world gained much from the Saddam Hussein trial. It was clear the verdict was predetermined and the court proceedings resembled a keystone cops movie.

Let’s accept the fact that the Libyans made the right choice and leave them alone. Let’s be glad they began their building of a new state with a good decision.

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