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End of Gaddafi


NATO has been operating in Libya for seven months with Operation Unifed Protector scheduled to close down on 31 October. The recent rebel victory in toppling Muammar Gaddafi’s 42 year reign has resulted in mixed reactions internationally. While the Libyans and NATO have been celebrating the victory, the UN Human Rights Agency is seeking an investigation into what’s being called his murder. The blame does not seem to rest so much with the military action that happened to capture him, in which commanders admit to not even realizing he was part of the struck convoy. Rather, the investigation is centering around the fact that he died of torturous injuries apparently suffered at the hands of the rebels in violation of the Geneva Convention. A video has surfaced that seems to portray the Libyan rebels assaulting the prisoner to include what appears to be sodomizing him with a knife. [Note: Video on linked site is graphic]

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I think he had ample opportunity to surrender in a dignified fashion to NATO, but chose to continue fighting. He would have known that he had a slim chance of surrendering without harm on the battlefield (or in a sewer) to undisciplined irregulars who hate him, and for good reason. Presumably he thought he could escape. He misjudged it.

I don’t think that we can judge by our military standards those who killed him. If our families had suffered murder and persecution under that tyrant we would probably have acted in the same way. It is not human nature to be merciful to a psychopathic megalomaniac with a record like he had.

That said, it would have been better to see him sweat his judgement through in court: not for justice reasons, but because that would have sent a clear signal to all the other Arab dictators. This way, they got a different signal but it still contained a useful message.

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