Muammar Gaddafi killed in gun battle.
October 20, 2011 5:51 AM   Subscribe

Muammar Gaddafi killed in gun battle. With multiple news sources now confirming, and Reuters now re-stating Al Arabiya's claims that the body is in Misrata, and with news that his hometown of Sirte has finally fallen, it appears that this phase of the revolution may be drawing to a close.
posted by TomMelee (262 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
There are pictures surfacing too, but they are not for the squeamish.
posted by TomMelee at 5:53 AM on October 20, 2011


Now is probably a good time to post this.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 6:01 AM on October 20, 2011 [7 favorites]


A picture gallery of fighting in badly ruined areas in Sirte by the Guardian.
posted by Anything at 6:02 AM on October 20, 2011


Some of what I'm seeing is that the gun battle was with an RAF bomb
posted by Ironmouth at 6:31 AM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yes, I saw that too, something about a convoy being attacked, possibly as he was fleeing. His spokesman and his aide-de-camp have both been confirmed captured, the latter being confirmed DEAD.
posted by TomMelee at 6:33 AM on October 20, 2011


"Top of the world, Ma!"
posted by octobersurprise at 6:34 AM on October 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


Now if only we can get that Moamar Khadafy guy, they'll be all set.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 6:34 AM on October 20, 2011 [55 favorites]


.


For all the people who have died because of him
posted by TedW at 6:36 AM on October 20, 2011 [28 favorites]


You know, I felt bad for Saddam Hussein when they hung him, I even felt a little bad for Bin Laden when they swooped in and offed him out of the blue, but I'm not feeling much sympathy for this guy.
posted by dunkadunc at 6:36 AM on October 20, 2011 [7 favorites]


Good fucking riddance.
posted by desjardins at 6:36 AM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


.
posted by shakespeherian at 6:37 AM on October 20, 2011


Ok then...who's next on the list?
posted by spicynuts at 6:37 AM on October 20, 2011


Wow. I really thought he had slipped away and was holed up (so to speak) in some other country by now. As far as who's next? What's the line on Assad?
posted by jquinby at 6:40 AM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


*will never understand why killing killers is morally right, and something to be happy about*
posted by Tarumba at 6:40 AM on October 20, 2011 [27 favorites]


There might be a pause in the action, spicynuts, while we search around for a dictator to support who will later turn on us and require removal. These things take time.
posted by tommasz at 6:41 AM on October 20, 2011 [5 favorites]


Ok then...who's next on the list?

Please don't, not out of any sympathy, but because that's how we ended up in Iraq.
posted by Panjandrum at 6:41 AM on October 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


WHY IS THERE A LIST
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:42 AM on October 20, 2011 [14 favorites]


spicynuts - Joseph Kony.

Panajandrum - I think he was being facetious
posted by symbioid at 6:42 AM on October 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


I traveled to Libya seven years ago and the one thing that impressed me the most, besides how beautiful of a country it is, was the naked hatred of Gaddafi. I would have assumed the locals would keep it under wraps, at least when talking to foreigners, but it permeated every conversation.
posted by lydhre at 6:43 AM on October 20, 2011 [11 favorites]


I think he was being facetious

Yeah, probably, I do know that we have lost both a brutal dictator and a comedy goldmine.
posted by Panjandrum at 6:44 AM on October 20, 2011 [5 favorites]


The BBC World Service is still calling it unconfirmed.

Reuters reporting that someone else is reporting it is just that, not an endorsement.

And even if Reuters was reporting it themselves, they're not particularly reliable on flash news. When I was working in TV, we'd go with a wire report citing AP: "AP reports that this morning...", but not with one from Reuters because they were so often walked back.
posted by Jahaza at 6:47 AM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


How convenient.
posted by brokkr at 6:47 AM on October 20, 2011


Wow. Couldn't have happened to a more "interesting man."
posted by Threeway Handshake at 6:47 AM on October 20, 2011 [9 favorites]


good riddance. now we can focus on reconciliation without the nagging unease of that jerko plotting against libyans
posted by mulligan at 6:48 AM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


How convenient.

I don't understand this comment, can you explain it?
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 6:49 AM on October 20, 2011


graphic: https://twitter.com/#!/Qahtani/status/127018551000313856
posted by mulligan at 6:50 AM on October 20, 2011


An obstacle removed. Now comes the hard part.
posted by Capt. Renault at 6:51 AM on October 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


*will never understand why killing killers is morally right, and something to be happy about*

Mainly it has to do with them not coming in for trial. The alternative is to let them get away.

Now I'm seeing on Al Jazeera that it was a gun battle. I think the convoy got hit, then Qadaffi and aides went into two drainage pipes and then engaged in a gun battle with NTC troops, wherein Qadaffi was shot.
posted by Ironmouth at 6:51 AM on October 20, 2011


what, are we going to start posting pictures of the corpse now?
posted by Tarumba at 6:52 AM on October 20, 2011


His spokesman and his aide-de-camp

Wow--dictators still have aide-de-camps? I've been reading War and Peace lately (in which that term comes up a lot) and I thought it was an archaic/obsolete military term.


Well, I don't relish blood shed, but good riddance. I hope the people of Libya manage to get/keep control of their nation in the aftermath of their successful revolution and realize their new nation's potential for good this time around.
posted by saulgoodman at 6:53 AM on October 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


Condi Rice is on a lush sofa in a darkened room, clutching a framed photo in her hands, one tear rolling down her cheek.
posted by Theta States at 6:53 AM on October 20, 2011 [74 favorites]


Another one bites the dust. ... and another one bites and another one bites...
posted by amazingstill at 6:55 AM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were: any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind.
posted by shakespeherian at 6:58 AM on October 20, 2011 [9 favorites]


An obstacle removed. Now comes the hard part.

Good riddance to him.

But "an obstacle removed" is an insightful comment. Nature and politics abhor a vacuum. Now that the colonel is out of the way, I will not be surprised to see some General get promoted to the position.

Condi Rice is on a lush sofa in a darkened room, clutching a framed photo in her hands, one tear rolling down her cheek.

LOL.
posted by three blind mice at 6:58 AM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ok then...who's next on the list?

Kissinger?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 6:59 AM on October 20, 2011 [22 favorites]


Saw photos this morning on Twitter without the posters explaining what they were. I had assumed it was Qadaffi, since the pics looked like him, but wasn't sure whether it meant he was dead, captured and in custody, a ringer had been shot, or something somewhere else entirely was going on.
posted by ardgedee at 6:59 AM on October 20, 2011


Ok then...who's next on the list?

George W. Bush? for the deaths of 100,000 - 500,000 Iraqis?
posted by ennui.bz at 7:00 AM on October 20, 2011 [18 favorites]


I've got to admit, I rather like how the reports say he was captured in a drainage pipe; not as much of a bring-down as Saddam in his dirt hole in the ground, but the drainage pipe is still a nice touch.
posted by easily confused at 7:00 AM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wow--dictators still have aide-de-camps?

Everyone's still got 'em, including in the U.S..
posted by Jahaza at 7:00 AM on October 20, 2011


*will never understand why killing killers is morally right, and something to be happy about*

Of course this killer was actively recruiting and encouraging other killers to punish the Libyan people for rebelling against him.
posted by mulligan at 7:01 AM on October 20, 2011 [9 favorites]


(Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates: "I don't understand this comment, can you explain it?"
It's always easier when you don't have to put deposed dictators through a trial afterwards. Saves us a lot of time, effort and uncomfortable questions when they resist capture.
posted by brokkr at 7:03 AM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Kissinger?

He has the immunity idol, otherwise known as the Nobel Prize.
posted by spicynuts at 7:03 AM on October 20, 2011 [9 favorites]


!
posted by kinnakeet at 7:04 AM on October 20, 2011


Er, Condi Rice has a lot to answer for, but a psychopath's taste in women is not one of them.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 7:04 AM on October 20, 2011 [8 favorites]


Wow--dictators still have aide-de-camps?

Everyone's still got 'em, including in the U.S..


Your link says that only Generals get them, should we then be describing Colonel Gaddafi's aide as a "henchman"?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 7:05 AM on October 20, 2011


George W. Bush? for the deaths of 100,000 - 500,000 Iraqis?

Doesn't count, as Bush set in motion events that allowed Iraq to be overthrow Saddam and be free.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:05 AM on October 20, 2011


and now I assume we are going to revoke the corporate charters of the American oil companies and law firms that propped him up for the last 3 decades right?
posted by any major dude at 7:06 AM on October 20, 2011 [9 favorites]



George W. Bush? for the deaths of 100,000 - 500,000 Iraqis?


I didn't mean the MetaFilter list, I meant the neo-con war monger's list. You know, kind of like the one Steve Buscemi was making at the end of Billy Madison.
posted by spicynuts at 7:06 AM on October 20, 2011


Are they not Aides-de-camp? And when do I get one?
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:06 AM on October 20, 2011


*will never understand why killing killers is morally right, and something to be happy about*

In this case, its the same reason it feels good when a murdering, thieving, wily, cowardly, arrogant fool who has killed hundreds of people and stolen the property of many others is finally cornered and killed by people who feel they have a personal grievance against him.

Sure, if this were a world of perfect democracy and legality, I would like to see him (and many others) tried for their crimes. But I think it's pretty easy to understand why many people are celebrating the end of this very bad man.
posted by General Tonic at 7:08 AM on October 20, 2011 [10 favorites]


Not to piss on the news or anything, but how many civilians were killed in the attack on Sirte and was it more or less than would have been killed if Gaddaffi had put down the rebellion in Benghazi?
posted by empath at 7:11 AM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


and now I assume we are going to revoke the corporate charters of the American oil companies and law firms that propped him up for the last 3 decades right?

Naw, international bribery isn't a big deal, just ask the Chamber of Commerce!
posted by AzraelBrown at 7:11 AM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


I wonder just how far in debt the new Libyan government will be once the bills for all the military "aid" and gear comes due?
posted by Thorzdad at 7:12 AM on October 20, 2011


thorzad, british cost so far 420 million, US costs 896 million.

That's a fraction of what Libyans have frozen in just the US (estimated at 30 billion in the US)
posted by mulligan at 7:14 AM on October 20, 2011


Sure, if this were a world of perfect democracy and legality...

If this were a perfect world wouldn't Gaddafi just run his electronics store in downtown Cirte with an Iron fist or perhaps at most just used his brains and ambition to be a one term prime minister?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 7:15 AM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


*will never understand why killing killers is morally right,and something to be happy about*

Are you Libyan?
posted by FJT at 7:19 AM on October 20, 2011 [5 favorites]


Are Libyans the only ones that have lived under oppression? Was Gaddafi the only killer out there?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 7:24 AM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Sometimes people are justifiably--if still regretably--killed in self-defense. The people of Libya were defending themselves from a ruthless murderer who oppressed and tormented them for decades. Think of it as a slow-motion fight for survival between two entities: Qaddafi's ego and the people of Libya. It was kill or be killed on the side of the Libyan people. Kill Qaddafi or let him keep killing them, in both the literal and figurative senses. Killing in self-defense isn't murder, is it?
posted by saulgoodman at 7:24 AM on October 20, 2011 [11 favorites]


Are Libyans the only ones that have lived under oppression? Was Gaddafi the only killer out there?

So, we should tell Libyans how to feel about this?
posted by FJT at 7:33 AM on October 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


So, we should tell Libyans how to feel about this?

No, but it would help to tell celebrating Libyans to stop shooting in the air. Bullets eventually come down, at a considerable speed.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:35 AM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


*will never understand why killing killers is morally right,and something to be happy about*

Personally, I'm happy he's out of the picture, and would have been happier if he stepped down months or years ago. The fact is, he was determined to fight until the bitter end, so that was never really in the cards.
posted by snofoam at 7:36 AM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


ZenMasterThis: "Ok then...who's next on the list?

Kissinger?
"

Oh, you're such a tease.
posted by symbioid at 7:39 AM on October 20, 2011


Wow--dictators still have aide-de-camps?

No they haven't still got aide-de-camps.

They've still got aides-de-camp.
posted by notyou at 7:41 AM on October 20, 2011 [16 favorites]


So, we should tell Libyans how to feel about this?

Why not, their feelings are just as invalid as ours.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 7:43 AM on October 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


I mean, come on. Gadaffi wasn't even the most repressive dictator out there. Libyans had it better than most.

Sent from my iPad.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 7:44 AM on October 20, 2011 [5 favorites]


The only way this mongrel would leave this Earth was in a pool of his own blood.

His own people, who he fucked over for many years, took him out. Bless them. And good riddance, I'm somewhat to the left of Anarchist, but this is an appropriate ending for a total monster. You don't believe in an eye for an eye, OK, but a lot of eyes were crushed under the thumb of this cunt, and he paid the price in a hail of bullets.

Those of you who would attack me for those words, venture out into the world and get some blood of innocents spilled near you, and I'll bet you'll change your tune.
posted by dbiedny at 7:50 AM on October 20, 2011 [11 favorites]


Mmm, nah. It's easier to pontificate from behind a keyboard.
posted by aramaic at 7:52 AM on October 20, 2011 [5 favorites]


Here's hoping the Libyans get to build a lasting peace.

. For all those that died.
posted by arcticseal at 7:54 AM on October 20, 2011 [7 favorites]


kind of like the one Steve Buscemi was making at the end of Billy Madison.

Thanks for that. Now I'm picturing Cheney crossing Muammar Gaddafi off his list, wistfully leaning back, then putting on some bright red lipstick.

And sadly, I just know I'm going to have that image stuck in my head all day.
posted by quin at 7:55 AM on October 20, 2011 [13 favorites]


It's not Gaddafi's death that I'm pleased to see. It's Gaddafi's permanent inability to do anything more to cause death and torment that I am pleased to see.

We now celebrate not the death of a man, but the rebirth of a nation.
posted by Saydur at 7:57 AM on October 20, 2011 [13 favorites]


Paul Craig Roberts opined that this popular revolt was heavily abetted by America because Gaddafi had allowed China to establish oil interests in the east of Libya, and the whole point was to evict those Chinese interests from the Mediterranean and maintain hegemony over the resources in the region.

Paul Craig Roberts does a lot of tin-foil-hat opining, but still.
posted by Trochanter at 7:58 AM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


So, how's reconstruction going to go?
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:58 AM on October 20, 2011


Probably about as well as it has in Egypt.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:01 AM on October 20, 2011


Not to piss on the news or anything, but how many civilians were killed in the attack on Sirte and was it more or less than would have been killed if Gaddaffi had put down the rebellion in Benghazi?

Obviously, to save lives we should just surrender to anyone who uses force. Freedom not worth it.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:02 AM on October 20, 2011 [18 favorites]


reconstruction has already started. Comparing the libya post revolution to Egypt post revolution is a mistake. Libya has a much smaller population, a transitional leadership and tons of money.

lots of work to do, but lets avoid the facile comparisons.
posted by mulligan at 8:04 AM on October 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


Obviously, to save lives we should just surrender to anyone who uses force. Freedom not worth it.

What I'm asking is whether lives were actually saved, on balance.
posted by empath at 8:06 AM on October 20, 2011


Ding, dong, the witch is dead,
the wicked witch is dead.
...
He's gone where the goblins go,
Below, below, below.
posted by caddis at 8:07 AM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Comparing the libya post revolution to Egypt post revolution is a mistake.

Speaking of reconstruction, perhaps nobody noticed that today is election day in Libya's neighbor on the other side.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 8:12 AM on October 20, 2011


Al Jazeera has posted footage that allegedly shows a deceased Gaddafi. (This was posted on Google News a few minutes ago, linking to YouTube, but when I went to post this, the link was gone; I found it on Al Jazeera's own site. I noticed that the YouTube version had approx. 300 views, so it only must have been up for a moment or two when I happened to catch it.)
posted by jkonig at 8:13 AM on October 20, 2011


What I'm asking is whether lives were actually saved, on balance.

I don't see why that is something that needs to be calculated, and what the answer would tell you.
posted by arveale at 8:14 AM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't see why that is something that needs to be calculated, and what the answer would tell you.

It is a relevant academic question. Historians and Economic historians do similar things with the American Civil War or the American Revolution.
posted by FJT at 8:18 AM on October 20, 2011


To rid the world of Osama bin Laden, Anwar al-Awlaki and Moammar Qaddafi within six months: if Obama were a Republican, he'd be on Mount Rushmore by now.
Andrew Sullivan
posted by ndfine at 8:18 AM on October 20, 2011 [44 favorites]


today is election day in Libya's neighbor

I should clarify here, today begins voting for Tunisians abroad. Domestically the election is Sunday.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 8:19 AM on October 20, 2011


Paul Craig Roberts opined that this popular revolt was heavily abetted by America because Gaddafi had allowed China to establish oil interests in the east of Libya, and the whole point was to evict those Chinese interests from the Mediterranean and maintain hegemony over the resources in the region.

Paul Craig Roberts does a lot of tin-foil-hat opining, but still.


They were reporting here in China some time back that they've come to an accommodation with the TNC, are recognising it and have their rights and assets secured. So not sure the theory holds water.
posted by Abiezer at 8:20 AM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


What I'm asking is whether lives were actually saved, on balance.

The problem is that that's so vague as to be unanswerable. On balance with what? Gaddafi remaining as an active combantant for the next decade, Libya emeshed in a stubborn civil war? Gaddafi remaining dictator? The Mondoshawans returning to fight the Great Evil?
posted by bonehead at 8:21 AM on October 20, 2011 [7 favorites]


I, personally, would rather die fighting for my freedom (or that of others unable to fight) then live a life under violent, scarily oppressive rule. I think generally looking back over human history, you'll see this is pretty much a running theme.
posted by TomMelee at 8:26 AM on October 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


Paul Craig Roberts opined that this popular revolt was heavily abetted by America because Gaddafi had allowed China to establish oil interests in the east of Libya, and the whole point was to evict those Chinese interests from the Mediterranean and maintain hegemony over the resources in the region.


Frankly, I think the US had plenty more reasons to want to get rid of Gaddafi without getting into such considerations. In fact, he had pissed up so many people during his long career that just about everybody in the world had reasons to wish him to end in a hail of bullets: the Americans, the French, the British, the Israelis, most Arabs, a good chunk of Africa, and even Bulgaria.

Apart from Hugo Chavez, Robert Mugabe and a few people in the South African government, he had very few friends left, and even those preferred to keep him at arm's length. Some of the people who stuck to him until the UN resolution, like Silvio Berlusconi, will actually be very relieved to be spared a public trial.
posted by Skeptic at 8:29 AM on October 20, 2011


The man with the golden gun.
posted by chavenet at 8:32 AM on October 20, 2011


Now there should be a Qaddafi memorial constructed. I'm thinking of 42 man-sized pig sculptures each dressed with his various outfits arranged in a circle around a golden oil derrick.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 8:32 AM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


"Narcissistic leader of Libya since 1969 who backed terrorism round the world and became US public enemy number one". . . The Guardian's Colonel Muammar Gaddafi obit
posted by Mister Bijou at 8:32 AM on October 20, 2011


I think it's a sign of the decline of the West that people can't comprehend fighting against violent tyranny.

When America does eventually fall into a neo-feudal dictatorship, it will be heralded by a shrug and a cynical comment on metafilter.
posted by happyroach at 8:33 AM on October 20, 2011 [43 favorites]


Wow. I really thought he had slipped away and was holed up (so to speak) in some other country by now.

Unfortunately for him his ego got in the way.
posted by Gungho at 8:33 AM on October 20, 2011 [6 favorites]


Hopefully what comes after will be better for the Libyans than what has gone before.
posted by Mooski at 8:34 AM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


One of the live-blogs I was reading this morning before posting had an interesting comment I can't find now that was basically discussing why all the worlds major superpowers had a vested interest in Gaddafi NOT being captured alive for fear that he'd begin to tell the secrets. I don't want to believe it, but I believe that's true.
posted by TomMelee at 8:34 AM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm thinking of 42 man-sized pig sculptures each dressed with his various outfits arranged in a circle around a golden oil derrick.

Nope, still not crazy enough.
posted by Panjandrum at 8:34 AM on October 20, 2011


I think it's a sign of the decline of the West that people can't comprehend fighting against violent tyranny.

Oh don't be silly. By making the correct consumer choices we can defeat any form of oppression there is. Besides, doing anything else would be hurty and loud!
posted by furiousthought at 8:38 AM on October 20, 2011 [6 favorites]


You know, I felt bad for Saddam Hussein when they hung him,

There was something truly pathetic about Saddam in his last days. I can't quite describe it, but in his capture, trial and execution he seemed like such a flawed human being, in a way somebody like Milošević never did. It's possible to pity a tyrant and a murder, indeed it should be expected. How can you not pity a person who ended up like that?

Not to piss on the news or anything, but how many civilians were killed in the attack on Sirte and was it more or less than would have been killed if Gaddaffi had put down the rebellion in Benghazi?

Fewer. Unless you believe that the Gadafi family would at some point relinquish power without a fight, then more lives have been saved by fighting now and preventing them from murdering their opponents for another generation.

I personally don't favor execution or killing if it can be avoided, but I understand that it is sometimes expedient. It is hard to impose perfect morality on an imperfect world.
posted by Jehan at 8:40 AM on October 20, 2011 [6 favorites]


Ok then...who's next on the list?

You probably haven't heard of him. Currently he is one of the good guys.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:49 AM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh don't be silly. By making the correct consumer choices we can defeat any form of oppression there is. Besides, doing anything else would be hurty and loud!

Yes my refusal to cheer on the violent death of a human being is surely a sign that I am a scaredy-cat moron.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:49 AM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Did they get Glenn Beck too?
posted by I love you more when I eat paint chips at 8:49 AM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think it's a sign of the decline of the West that people can't comprehend fighting against violent tyranny.

It's more a sign that most people in The West have only ever lived in relatively peaceful democracies.
posted by atrazine at 8:50 AM on October 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


Saif is still at large, though. It drags on.
posted by jeanmari at 8:51 AM on October 20, 2011


There are reports though that Saif is engaged in a gunfight after fleeing Sirte.

http://twitter.com/#!/ksnavarra/status/127043331132891136
posted by Catfry at 8:55 AM on October 20, 2011


So now what?
posted by stormpooper at 8:56 AM on October 20, 2011


When America does eventually fall into a neo-feudal dictatorship, it will be heralded by a shrug and a cynical comment on metafilter.

I beg to differ. It already IS a neo-feudal dictatorship, and ths is being protested wildly down on Wall Street, amongst other places.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:06 AM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


It already IS a neo-feudal dictatorship

I don't think you have a clue what a dictatorship is.
posted by veedubya at 9:13 AM on October 20, 2011 [25 favorites]


happyroach: "I think it's a sign of the decline of the West that people can't comprehend fighting against violent tyranny.

When America does eventually fall into a neo-feudal dictatorship, it will be heralded by a shrug and a cynical comment on metafilter.
"
The problem (for me) isn't fighting against violent tyranny. The problem is that the forces doing so since the end of the Korean war - mainly US American military and intelligence - have regularly turned out to be backing equally repulsive local despots. Pardon my lack of enthusiasm on that background.
posted by brokkr at 9:14 AM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


http://t.co/JqOUEaFy gaddafi, when alive and captured,
posted by mulligan at 9:14 AM on October 20, 2011


...and bleeding.

...and balding.
posted by giraffe at 9:25 AM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Will you accept that we have a Neo-Feudal oligarchy? A wealthy ruling class who makes the rules for everyone else while exempting themselves, maintaining their privileges and prerogatives while prohibiting others from following their example?
posted by Blackanvil at 9:35 AM on October 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


So my meat hook prediction didn't come true, but I'll take hiding in a drain after your escape convoy is bombed. I think more dictators need to end like this, to discourage others in the future.

I try to be compassionate in my day to day dealings, but I have to admit I am really happy imagining him down there dirty and bloodied, and all his briefcases full of gold and dollars scattered in the road, completely useless.
posted by Meatbomb at 9:37 AM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


The price of gas will down, hopefully, Is one of the first thoughts I had when I got the news.
posted by longsleeves at 9:38 AM on October 20, 2011


Ok then...who's next on the list?

It does seem like this administration is chewing through traditional 80s and 90s bogeymen at a fair old rate...
posted by Artw at 9:38 AM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm not much for jingoism or rejoicing over bloodshed, but considering that a high school classmate was on Pan Am Flight 103 I have to admit it pleases me on a personal level to hear that we've finally seen the last of Gadaffi.
posted by slkinsey at 9:40 AM on October 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


Ok then...who's next on the list?

Assad.
posted by longsleeves at 9:41 AM on October 20, 2011


It already IS a neo-feudal dictatorship

I don't think you have a clue what a dictatorship is.


Nah, that's fair, I admit I was exaggerating for the sake of poetic license. But my original point still stands -- that I'm baffled that someone could think that the populace would react to a theoretic downturn in the general state of well-being with a shrug and a "whatever" when there are ACTUAL people reacting to an ACTUAL downturn in the state of well-being with massive global protests.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:44 AM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Alive
posted by atomicmedia at 9:47 AM on October 20, 2011


Artw: "Ok then...who's next on the list?

It does seem like this administration is chewing through traditional 80s and 90s bogeymen at a fair old rate..
"

Yeah, if I were an africanized bee or a gangster rapper, I wouldn't feel too safe right now.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 9:49 AM on October 20, 2011 [29 favorites]


Alive

But that was before he was executed by the dude with the golden gun, right? Or is he actually alive. I think that that's merely footage of when he was alive.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 9:50 AM on October 20, 2011


I would have assumed the locals would keep it under wraps, at least when talking to foreigners, but it permeated every conversation.

Au contraire, in my experience, locals generally find it freer to discuss local politics with outsiders than with their own people. Mostly because they think outsiders wouldnt have a hook to latch on to; they essentially offer their own hook, so to speak.

The pattern of confessions documented by Wikileaks kinda underscores this point.

On preview: gosh, the town seems completely devastated.
posted by the cydonian at 9:50 AM on October 20, 2011


I'm assuming it wasn't a "gun battle".
posted by atomicmedia at 9:51 AM on October 20, 2011


(Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates: "the dude with the golden gun"

Alex Winter is... Bond. James Bond.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 9:54 AM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Bet old Radovan is feeling pretty cosy in bed right now.
posted by Artw at 9:57 AM on October 20, 2011


I don't think you have a clue what a dictatorship is.

I don't think you have a clue what a metaphor is.
posted by malaprohibita at 9:59 AM on October 20, 2011


I found the early morning reports that he was found alive with gunshot wounds in each leg to be darkly funny. I imagined this conversation:

Commander: You must find Gaddafi and take him alive!
Spec Ops Dude: No problem. Puts on sunglasses.
posted by JohnFredra at 10:00 AM on October 20, 2011


don't think you have a clue what a metaphor is.

"Silly and overblown"?
posted by Artw at 10:02 AM on October 20, 2011


Scaramanga was The Man With The Golden Gun, not James Bond.
posted by stinkycheese at 10:11 AM on October 20, 2011 [5 favorites]


Inaccurate, at any rate. Let's not get a flame war going over whether or not the US is a dictatorship. That's off topic, and anyway, it isn't. It's an oligarchy controlled by private interests with a weak central government that's basically an empty shell of what was once a great republic.
posted by saulgoodman at 10:11 AM on October 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


Just so's I'm clear, is this one of those Mefi threads where it's okay to joke about and celebrate the recent death of a famous person?
posted by Decani at 10:13 AM on October 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


Bastard is dead and we still don't have a standardized spelling for his name in English.
posted by msali at 10:14 AM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Fred Armisen sighs.
posted by rhizome at 10:20 AM on October 20, 2011 [9 favorites]


Bastard is dead and we still don't have a standardized spelling for his name in English.
Early reports suggest he was lynched by a mod of newspaper sub-editors.
posted by Abiezer at 10:22 AM on October 20, 2011 [17 favorites]


Could have used one myself :(
posted by Abiezer at 10:23 AM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


msali: "Bastard is dead and we still don't have a standardized spelling for his name in English."

Maybe that's just another strategically placed insult to combat the “I don't care what you say about me, just spell my name right” concept. A warning to future evil doers - not only will we kill you, but we'll also make sure there's no consensus on how we spell your name. Take That!
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 10:25 AM on October 20, 2011


Could have used one myself :(

I empathize, Abiezer - thus the pity-favorite.
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:25 AM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Heh.
posted by Abiezer at 10:27 AM on October 20, 2011


I dunno, I rather like the idea of being part of a mod. Like a murder of crows, but with better hair.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:27 AM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


I beg to differ. It already IS a neo-feudal dictatorship, and ths is being protested wildly down on Wall Street, amongst other places.

If it were a dictatorship, protesting would not be allowed. We brought our condition upon ourselves. We are doing this to ourselves and we are to blame. We are the only people who can fix it.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:27 AM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


I don't think you have a clue what a dictatorship is.

I don't think you have a clue what a metaphor is.


You can't use something in the same class as the thing you are describing as a metaphor.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:28 AM on October 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


Guys, I took it back. Chill.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:30 AM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Obviously, to save lives we should just surrender to anyone who uses force. Freedom not worth it.

What I'm asking is whether lives were actually saved, on balance.


Let me rephrase: why do you think this is an important question?

Also, it is hard to say, because you can't look ahead yet. There is the question of future preventable deaths.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:32 AM on October 20, 2011


Libyan leader Moammer Gadhafi
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 10:33 AM on October 20, 2011


Guys, I took it back. Chill.

Sorry, I scroll down, see something, write something, then scroll past what I just reacted to.

although my point about us being responsible stands--which I think dovetails nicely with yours actually. We're the only ones who are going to get ourselves out of this.

Kinda like the Libyans, but without the airforce. But this all started because the peaceful protests were suppressed. Had Qadaffi let them go on, it would be #occupytripoli

That's why I think your point isn't a derail at all.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:35 AM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]




...Well you came and you gave without taking
but Reagan sent you away, oh Muammar
well you kissed me and stopped me from shaking
Obama needs you today, oh Muammar...
posted by Renoroc at 10:36 AM on October 20, 2011


No one should have to die like this. Which is why I hope powerful people around the world watch this video and think to themselves "gee, maybe I should stop treating those over whom I have power with utter contempt"
posted by crayz at 10:41 AM on October 20, 2011 [6 favorites]


Another bit of good news, celebratory firing in Tripoli is pretty low, unlike when the rumors of Mutassim happened last week. People have got the message, don't fire into the air.
posted by mulligan at 10:41 AM on October 20, 2011


This is how I got the news.

I can't decide whether this is evidence I am living in a satire of my own life or not.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 10:42 AM on October 20, 2011 [6 favorites]


"gee, maybe I should stop treating those over whom I have power with utter contempt"

Or failing that, at least "Maybe a long life in a palace in Saudi Arabia isn't so bad, time to pack my bags."
posted by Meatbomb at 10:48 AM on October 20, 2011


What's the deal with the golden gun; was he planning to ironically shoot the Leprechaun?
posted by Tube at 10:49 AM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Have to say, I really didn't think Gaddafi would go down like this. I thought for certain he'd end up in exile somewhere living off the billions he robbed from his people. But indeed, he went down like a soldier. Like a corner animal really. Strange strange fucked up medieval complex fucker eh?

He was in power for so long. Think about how long ago the Lockerbie bombing was...


It's true what Faulkner said: The past is not dead. It's not even the past.
posted by Skygazer at 10:50 AM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ok then...who's next on the list?

I would like to throw out there, since you asked, Kenny G.

C'mon, you know I'm right.
posted by Skygazer at 10:55 AM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


On a slight tangent, is it my crummy internet connection here or are the news sites getting hammered? CNN barely loads and I can't get to Al Jazeera English at all now.
posted by smoothvirus at 10:56 AM on October 20, 2011



I would like to throw out there, since you asked, Kenny G.


He's clearly dead already - he has no soul.
posted by spicynuts at 10:58 AM on October 20, 2011


Heh. It'll STILL be wall-to-wall Michael Jackson on CNN tonight.
posted by Artw at 11:00 AM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


George W. Bush? for the deaths of 100,000 - 500,000 Iraqis?

Doesn't count, as Bush set in motion events that allowed Iraq to be overthrow Saddam and be free.


But if the Iraqis use that freedom to prop up Axis-of-Eeeevil member Assad, then it cancels out... so I'm afraid we're going to have to assault "Dubya," as he is known to his supporters, in his fortified compound in the dangerous city of Dallas.
posted by ennui.bz at 11:01 AM on October 20, 2011


Guys, I took it back. Chill.

This is further evidence against your theory -- in a neo-feudal dictatorship there would be NO TAKEBACKS!
posted by The Tensor at 11:02 AM on October 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


He was in power for so long. Think about how long ago the Lockerbie bombing was...

Funny thing is, I don't think he did it. And the Scottish courts were about to reopen the case when they freed the alleged bomber.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:02 AM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Guys, I took it back. Chill.

This is further evidence against your theory -- in a neo-feudal dictatorship there would be NO TAKEBACKS!


We have always been at war with Eastasia.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:03 AM on October 20, 2011


Here's my take on dictators: The "successful" ones:

1) Once they achieve power, they only know how to stay in power. They cannot project power or form empowering coalitions. If they could, they would not be dictators. We would call them "statesmen." Gadhafi tried for years to lead a pan-African coalition (with himself as the titular head). He failed at every turn, but remained in power in Libya.

2) Have a radically different definition of "success" than most people. Kim Jong-Il remains in power. Of an empoverished, hermetic nation. Where any one of his generals would kill him at a moment's notice. With no allies. He knows this. He's certain of it. Still, in his mind, he's winning. Because today, right now, he is in power. How he stays in power is irrelevant. The quality of that power is irrelevant. He's in power. That is all that matters.

Gadhafi went down thinking he was still in power on some level. That is why he didn't go into exile. He thought he didn't need to.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:06 AM on October 20, 2011 [9 favorites]


This guy did unspeakable things to countless innocents. Fuck him.
posted by spitbull at 11:06 AM on October 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


Sic motherfucking semper.
posted by mr_roboto at 11:20 AM on October 20, 2011 [4 favorites]



*will never understand why killing killers is morally right,and something to be happy about*

Are you Libyan?

are you?

I come from Peru, married to a Bosnian refugee. We do not want the death of Abimael Guzman, Karadzic, Mladic or anyone for that matter. I guess you are asking if I have double standards. I don't.
posted by Tarumba at 11:24 AM on October 20, 2011 [7 favorites]


his arrest and trial would have been a great conclusion
this savage lynching makes me feel ill
posted by hopefulmidlifer at 11:39 AM on October 20, 2011


sad part is that his death wont stop the war machine. the war-mongers have been salivating over controlling Libya. this is sadly just the beginning *sigh*
posted by liza at 11:51 AM on October 20, 2011


the war-mongers have been salivating over controlling Libya

The Libyan people?
posted by joe lisboa at 12:05 PM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


I try to be compassionate in my day to day dealings, but I have to admit I am really happy imagining him down there dirty and bloodied, and all his briefcases full of gold and dollars scattered in the road, completely useless.

Impeccable tailoring won't save you now!
posted by atrazine at 12:20 PM on October 20, 2011


Inside Obama's War Room: How he decided to intervene in Libya – and what it says about his evolution as commander in chief
posted by homunculus at 12:24 PM on October 20, 2011


To rid the world of Osama bin Laden, Anwar al-Awlaki and Moammar Qaddafi within six months: if Obama were a Republican, he'd be on Mount Rushmore by now.

And al-Awlaki's 16-year-old American son. That's gotta be worth some bonus points.
posted by homunculus at 12:39 PM on October 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


this savage lynching makes me feel ill

Feel better soon! Reports coming in that he was taken alive, and was later killed after his supporters tried to rescue him.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 12:47 PM on October 20, 2011


the war-mongers have been salivating over controlling Libya

The Libyan people?


Dude, the brown people in the funny hats have no agency, and stop trying to give them any. This was a Bilderbergian plot hatched atop a Swiss glacier.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 12:51 PM on October 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


Gawker has pretty graphic video of Gaddafi's last minute. I'm not sure if that's cool to link, but he really looks like a dazed, bloodied old man minutes from death. It's strange to imagine the last minutes of a dictator's life, but it's stranger to witness it.
posted by 2bucksplus at 12:53 PM on October 20, 2011


Libya: The Real U.S. Drone War

James Cameron Saw The Future: The Dangers Of Drones
posted by homunculus at 1:02 PM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


To rid the world of Osama bin Laden, Anwar al-Awlaki and Moammar Qaddafi within six months: if Obama were a Republican, he'd be on Mount Rushmore by now.

Today Marco Rubio (R-FL) claims Obama acted "too little, too late" (a claim he also made in August). He says credit should go to the British and French.
"Let's give credit where credit is due. It was the French and the British who led on this fight and probably even led on the strike that led to Gaddafi's capture or to his death."
The Republicans will never acknowledge any of Obama's achievements ... and will continue to thwart any of his actions and efforts.
posted by ericb at 1:15 PM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


The Republicans will never acknowledge any of Obama's achievements ... and will continue to thwart any of his actions and efforts.

Are you saying that Rubio is wrong, and that Obama was leading the French and British instead?
posted by BobbyVan at 1:18 PM on October 20, 2011


It's the next necessary step in a huge process that will (hopefully) end with Libya becoming a free and democratic state. I don't celebrate Gaddafi's death, but I'm glad that this event means the fighting is most likely over and no one else has to die.
posted by Kevin Street at 1:20 PM on October 20, 2011


Unless the French or British now have control over the U.S. military, it appears Rubio was wrong. Reports are coming in that Gaddafi's convoy was hit by a missile from a U.S. Predator drone, and he was captured in the aftermath.
posted by helloknitty at 1:24 PM on October 20, 2011


And where is Saif?
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 1:29 PM on October 20, 2011


Are you saying that Rubio is wrong, and that Obama was leading the French and British instead?

Obama's strategy was to "lead from behind" and work with NATO and others on the Libyan situation. It's not like the U.S. was 'hands-off' in this situation.
"One anonymous Obama adviser labeled the Libya strategy 'leading from behind' in an interview with the New Yorker earlier this year, a slogan that has turned into a bludgeon for Republican critics to use to assail Obama’s leadership or lack thereof. But the scenes of celebration in Tripoli make it difficult — if not impossible, as supportive statements by Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham demonstrated Monday — to argue with Obama’s methods. And at a moment of fiscal obsession, Qadhafi was deposed on the cheap: the most recent figures, from earlier this summer, showed just $1.1 billion in American outlays on the mission, a virtual rounding error at the Pentagon and the equivalent of a few days of involvement in Afghanistan. U.S. warplanes flew just 16 percent of the aerial sorties over the country, according to figures compiled by the Atlantic Council of the United States."
And, recall the deep criticism Obama faced from Republicans this summer.

Another example:
"And this week, when asked by a New Hampshire resident whether President Obama should be impeached over Libya, Huntsman refused to say, telling the voter that he’d 'let Congress make that decision.'"
posted by ericb at 1:29 PM on October 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


Obama's Much-Mocked "Lead From Behind" Approach to Libya Worked.
posted by ericb at 1:30 PM on October 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


Republicans backtrack on Libya.
posted by ericb at 1:33 PM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


42 man-sized virgin pigs.
posted by Ella Fynoe at 1:33 PM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Cool Papa Bell: "Gadhafi went down thinking he was still in power on some level. That is why he didn't go into exile. He thought he didn't need to."

He probably thought he could turn everything around if he just kept fighting, much like the addicted gambler who stays at the table long enough to lose it all. It would be hard to accept that the people you spent 42 years ruling really, really hate your guts.
posted by Kevin Street at 1:38 PM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


“For Barack Obama and his national security team, the simultaneous fall of Sirte and the death of Muammar al-Qaddafi provide an important punctuation mark in their successful initiative to support Libyan rebels and bring an end to an odious dictatorship.

The political benefits that accrue to the president at home will be modest. Domestic issues command the attention of American voters. What's more, the president's Republican opponents don't want to talk foreign-policy very much. And with good reason. The president's record is for the most part too good to take issue with.

The president came into office promising to get the United States out of a disliked war in Iraq and has kept the promise. He came in promising to shift the focus to Afghanistan and finishing the business of decapitating al Qaeda. He did both. Bin Laden is dead. And we are committed to coming home from Afghanistan, too. While the administration's response to the first stirrings of rebellion in the Middle East -- in Iran -- was muddled and late, the overall approach has been constructive and the Libya chapter will stand out as a gamble that worked. Restoring relations with our European allies, engineering the ‘pivot’ in priorities to Asia cited by Secretary of State Clinton, and the recognition of the growing importance of dealing with emerging powers are all additional positive developments that are a credit to the president and his team.

But more important than any political benefits that accrue to the president as a result of this successful outcome to the Libya effort is that it brings into focus an important shift in U.S. national security strategy, a doctrine that stands alongside Clinton's ‘pivot’ as one of the signature contributions of Obama and his security policymakers. Indeed, although I am reluctant to throw around the term ‘doctrine’ because it has become devalued through overuse, I believe it puts into focus what can and should be identified as the Obama Doctrine.

… The Obama Doctrine, while also grounded in the idea that we must exhaust every other means of advancing our national interest, is responding to the lessons of a different unpopular war, in this case, Iraq. It is a reaction against the use of ‘overwhelming force’ to achieve rather narrow (not to mention dubious) goals. It is an antidote to ‘shock and awe,’ ‘three trillion dollar wars’ and unilateral conventional invasions if they can possibly be avoided.

Whereas the Bush administration engaged in an open checkbook approach to a global ‘war on terror’ (a perversion of the Powell doctrine that was especially uncomfortable for Powell himself to watch unfold), Obama's approach -- in fighting terror, getting Bin Laden, assisting with the ouster of Qaddafi, and elsewhere -- has been not only to cast aside the term ‘war on terror’ but also the strategies and tactics of massive ground war.”*
posted by ericb at 1:40 PM on October 20, 2011 [9 favorites]


Republican Senator Lindsey Graham says GOP opposed Libya mission because Obama was president.

Duh.
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:47 PM on October 20, 2011


(Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates: "And where is Saif"

NOWHERE is Saif!
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 1:51 PM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Thanks ericb. I'm not going to back up Rubio's kudos to the British and the French at the expense of the President and the US military (he should have at least acknowledged the US military).

I agree with Sen. Graham that the Congress should not have suggested invoking the War Powers Act against Obama. The War Powers Act itself is probably unconstitutional. Instead, the Congress should focused on defunding the campaign against Libya if it disagreed with it.
posted by BobbyVan at 1:54 PM on October 20, 2011


should have focused
posted by BobbyVan at 1:55 PM on October 20, 2011


Ok then...who's next on the list?

The '72 Dolphins.
posted by Artichoke Dance Off!! at 1:55 PM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Lindsey Graham did have a past interest in Gaddafi.
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:58 PM on October 20, 2011


After Gadhafi's Demise, Biggest Killers of Americans Now Are Dead.
posted by ericb at 1:59 PM on October 20, 2011


.
for victims of Pan Am 103
posted by knoyers at 2:03 PM on October 20, 2011 [12 favorites]


To rid the world of Osama bin Laden, Anwar al-Awlaki and Moammar Qaddafi within six months: if Obama were a Republican, he'd be on Mount Rushmore by now.

The Republicans will never acknowledge any of Obama's achievements ... and will continue to thwart any of his actions and efforts.

Obama should just walk out to the presidential podium, take a beat, step from behind it, and grab his crotch while throwing up whatever the gang sign is for USA (or perhaps NATO). Too bad he can't translate any of this badassery to the domestic front.
posted by fuse theorem at 2:28 PM on October 20, 2011


I'm uncomfortable with encouraging the president to mirror Walter White's behavior.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:34 PM on October 20, 2011


I wonder how John McCain is feeling today...
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 2:42 PM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Gawker has pretty graphic video of Gaddafi's last minute. I'm not sure if that's cool to link, but he really looks like a dazed, bloodied old man minutes from death. It's strange to imagine the last minutes of a dictator's life, but it's stranger to witness it.

I saw that (via the Guardian); one part of me sees a terrified, dazed old man and feels pity. Another part of me sees the terrified, dazed women, children, and men murdered at his behest, dying the same way, and the pity disappears.
posted by rodgerd at 2:47 PM on October 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


I think it's great that Obama has finally taken Donald Rumsfeld's prescription for a lighter, quicker, more agile military to heart. We really can achieve results on the ground -- on the cheap -- using air power, intelligence and local allies.
posted by BobbyVan at 2:48 PM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were: any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind.

I look at it more as a quality vs. quantity issue. Qaddafi's death raises the average quality of humanity.
posted by spaltavian at 3:08 PM on October 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


I come from Peru, married to a Bosnian refugee. We do not want the death of Abimael Guzman, Karadzic, Mladic or anyone for that matter. I guess you are asking if I have double standards. I don't.

No, my point was since you're not Libyan, that's why you wouldn't begin to understand why thousands joined to fight and eventually capture and kill Gaddafi or why they're happy about his death. And even if you came from Peru and have a Bosnian spouse, I think it's presumptious to think you can understand how Libyans feel about this event. And I'm certainly not saying I understand either.
posted by FJT at 3:15 PM on October 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


Sweet. Only 49 colonels left.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 3:23 PM on October 20, 2011


Qaddafi's death raises the average quality of humanity.

Imagine how much the "average quality of humanity" would increase if all the countries who immorally banned the death penalty would reinstate it and run it like they do in Texas.

Yep, definitely hearing that bell tolling.
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:09 PM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Let's not forget the real tragedy here: the reputation of Amazonian bodyguards.
posted by ecourbanist at 4:33 PM on October 20, 2011 [7 favorites]


Everyone dies eventually. I suppose if you count lives as mattering in the short term, you should probably shorten the life of someone who's shortened many innocent lives.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 4:38 PM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Imagine how much the "average quality of humanity" would increase if all the countries who immorally banned the death penalty would reinstate it and run it like they do in Texas.

It wouldn't, unless you're suggesting that everyone Texas puts on death row is a murderous tyrant who, for four decades, oversaw the systematic murder, torture and rape of anyone who had the misfortune of arousing his suspicion.

I don't really see your point.
posted by spaltavian at 4:40 PM on October 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish: Now if only we can get that Moamar Khadafy guy, they'll be all set.

Nope, I don't see him on the list.
posted by gman at 4:40 PM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Fantastic news and let's hope a free, democratic Libya can now rise from the ashes of this brutal thug's four decades of greedy misrule.
posted by joannemullen at 4:44 PM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Lindsey Graham: ‘Let’s Get In On The Ground. There’s A Lot Of Money To Be Made In The Future Of Libya’
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:51 PM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


As far as who's next? What's the line on Assad?

A tougher nut to crack unfortunately.
posted by rosswald at 5:18 PM on October 20, 2011


Obligatory:

funkahdafi

And to the French foreign exchange student that accosted me in 1987 while I was myself an exchange student in northern Germany, I still don't give a fuck that the French government wouldn't permit Ronnie Raygun to fly his planes over your airspace.
posted by readyfreddy at 6:10 PM on October 20, 2011


Toughest level yet:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0i9acHS_zQ
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:21 PM on October 20, 2011


Err, Three Big Pigs
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:22 PM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Today Marco Rubio (R-FL) claims Obama acted "too little, too late" (a claim he also made in August). He says credit should go to the British and French.

He's hoping this leads the news. Because today it also emerged, in a WaPo investigative piece, that Rubio has been basically lying for years about his parents "fleeing communism in Cuba," when in fact they arrived in the US 2 years before Castro returned. Whoops.
posted by spitbull at 6:28 PM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


"My incredibly prescient parents fled communism in Cuba..."
posted by Abiezer at 6:31 PM on October 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


Happiness, not so much.
Catharsis, pretty easy to see.

(Still and all, he shouldn't have tried to kill Doc Brown in 1985. Never mess with a man who owns a time machine.)
posted by Smedleyman at 6:33 PM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


So this is an incredibly marginal and unimportant footnote to this whole event, but the comment sections on the Guardian's Libya-related stories throughout the whole Libyan civil war have been some of the most baffling (and appalling) I've seen, in a way that makes me think that there's probably some bizarrely interesting story behind them. The comments are invariably filled with stuff about how Gaddafi gave Libya free education and healthcare, how he heroically stood up to the imperialists of the West, how the reports of his atrocities are fake, how Libya really needed a ruler like him and how they're all going to wish they had him back soon, and maybe he had a few flaws here and there but on balance he was a great leader, ad infinitum, ad nauseum. The NTC, meanwhile, are Al-Qaeda CIA/NATO stooges (yes, both of those things at the same time, somehow) who, we are assured, have no real popular support. For the most part, the people saying these things seem to be Westerners, and these posts (which seem to make up a a good portion of the comments on any Libya-related story there) tend to get lots of "recommends".

Yeah, I know, newspaper comment sections are pretty much always awful, and the Guardian's apparently brings out the "leftist" equivalent to the right-wing lunacy one normally finds therein, but even from that perspective the sheer amount of pro-Gaddafi sentiment there is pretty inexplicable to me. How does anyone who didn't personally benefit from his rule come to see Gaddafi as a heroic champion of the oppressed masses? It's not like he was even an orthodox Marxist-Leninist type- his ideology had enough of a religious, Islamic cast to it that one would think that even the worst authoritarian hard-left types would be put off by that element of it, and one would also think that all the effort he made to get into the West's good graces before the uprising happened would have eliminated whatever "anti-imperialist" credibility he might have (wrongly) had. (I mean, seriously, he and Silvio Berlusconi were good friends.) Did Libya have anything equivalent to China's "50 Cent Party", or is there some weird little Stalinist/Maoist sect out there that has some elaborate theory of why Gaddafi was an ally of the proletarian revolution and makes a point of patrolling the Guardian's comment sections?
posted by a louis wain cat at 6:58 PM on October 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


You know, I saw the pictures and wasn't too freaked out by them, but watching Anderson Cooper right now and there's lots of video, and I find it incredibly awful. I've had to look away.

For some reason this video of this horrible dictator -- video that is not as horrible as it could be -- makes it clear what a sheltered life I've lead.
posted by aclevername at 7:14 PM on October 20, 2011


The Guardian's comments section mostly attracts right-wing trolls in my experience, but maybe someone made a special effort in this instance.
On another board I go on, similar if not quite so nutty arguments were advanced by a user from an Irish republican background (maybe he owed him one for some Armalites back in the day); I don't agree with the analysis he offered but there's enough debate to be had about Arab nationalisms in the older Cold War context and enough bollocks and historical distortion from the pro-Western intervention point of view that it was instructive to see the argument thrashed out; particularly, for me, with the critiques of that pro-Gaddaffi stance from people not quite so blithe about the liberal interventionist narrative.
posted by Abiezer at 7:17 PM on October 20, 2011


Some good Khadaffi photoshop jobs here.
posted by iamck at 7:17 PM on October 20, 2011


So this is an incredibly marginal and unimportant footnote to this whole event, but the comment sections on the Guardian's Libya-related stories throughout the whole Libyan civil war have been some of the most baffling (and appalling) I've seen, in a way that makes me think that there's probably some bizarrely interesting story behind them.

TBH they sound not far off some of the comments we've had in related threads here.
posted by Artw at 7:20 PM on October 20, 2011


stinkycheese: "Scaramanga was The Man With The Golden Gun, not James Bond"

Yes, but a James Bond played by Alex Winter would refer to him as "The Dude with the Golden Gun", hence my comment.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 7:21 PM on October 20, 2011


I think it's a sign of the decline of the West that people can't comprehend fighting against violent tyranny.

I personally think it's a sign of decline in the west that people are unable to tell sorrow about the absence of rule-of-law and the viciousness that tyrannies engender on both sides, with the idea that people oppose freedom or the fighting thereof.

Watching Western leaders trip over themselves to slap their own backs makes me nauseous. They were more than happy cosying up to him for most of his forty year reign. If they actually gave a shit about Libya they'd be mourning the fact that rule-of-law is thus far as lamentably absent under the "rebels" as it was under Qaddafi. Everyone loses with deaths like these.

Where's Saif?

Probably holed up in the London School of Economics.
posted by smoke at 8:00 PM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


*will never understand why killing killers is morally right,and something to be happy about*

Should have mentioned this. Happy, no. There's a catharsis there though.
As far as I'm concerned I take no joy in the thing. This does not mean I cannot see it as potentially necessary.

The morality of killing killers is simple. There are two kinds of killers. Those who will kill and will not stop. Those who will kill and will stop.
The latter group checks the former.

This is not to say that if someone is neutralized by other means, for example, captured, it is morally right to kill them. I do not think it is. Once someone's power to kill/harm has ended, there is no reason to kill them - as it is not necessary.
Would Gaddafi be able to mount a resistance from prison? I think so.
Is that a reason to kill him. I don't think so. But the political situation being what it is, it is possible that it would be necessary to kill him.

In this case there was open warfare and he was killed in that war. I see no scenario where his death does not save more lives than it costs.
That, I can be happy about. The killing part, no. It's simply what had to be done, by the rationale from some quarters, and I agree with them, in order to end greater suffering.
posted by Smedleyman at 8:05 PM on October 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


a louis wain cat,

The same trolls are all over twitter. There are even some falsely claiming to be in Tripoli and making claims that "most of tripoli, benghazi and misratah are under gaddafi control, all of bani walid and sirt are" and that all libyans love gaddafi, and libyans opposed to him are bloodthirsty racist to this day. Ex from earlier today, from "Russia Today" http://youtu.be/jAv1iYzFEKg

Gaddafi has been able to get people like Cynthia McKinney touring the US and Canada with this false narrative, bringin the bozos at ANSWER along for the ride.

Ask Libyans out here in the west and they'll grumble quite a bit about these people. I myself, along with a few other Libyans, was called a CIA stooge and Mckinney claimed we were paid by the west to "betray Libya" and spread lies.
They're still out there online, encouraging gaddafi loyalists to kill and murder on behalf of "green libya" as they call it.
posted by mulligan at 8:22 PM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


He had sleeper agents all over the West to intimidate and assassinate Libyans. I guess these folks would be quite bitter about their stipends ending.
posted by Meatbomb at 8:42 PM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm uncomfortable with encouraging the president to mirror Walter White's behavior.

Well, leaving out the meth part, I got no problem with the concept of Barack "Heisenberg" Obama. Heisenberg takes care of business when it really needs to be.

You know, I saw the pictures and wasn't too freaked out by them, but watching Anderson Cooper right now and there's lots of video, and I find it incredibly awful. I've had to look away.

Tried to watch the video on Gawker and had to close the tab. Sure, he probably deserved what he got but there are some things that just don't need to be seen, even on quasi-news/entertainment shows.
posted by fuse theorem at 8:58 PM on October 20, 2011


Well this turn of events really fucked up my pre-written obit:
Muammar Gaddafi died peacefully this morning surrounded by friends and family. He is survived by sons Saif al-Islam, Moatassem, Saif al-Arab, Khamis. A memorial website is being set up where people will be able to share their memories of Muammar.
posted by mazola at 9:13 PM on October 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


Watching Western leaders trip over themselves to slap their own backs makes me nauseous. They were more than happy cosying up to him for most of his forty year reign.

Can we fairly convict current Western leaders for complicity in his criminal reign? Especially considering the fact that in recent years, Gaddafi has been pretty officially denounced by most of the states in question.

The United States designated Libya as a state sponsor of terrorism in 1979.

Gaddafi's Libya was responsible for destroying a French plane and killing 170 people in 1989. France was the first nation to recognize the rebels as the legitimate representatives of Libya back in March of this year.

The UK severed relations with Libya in 1984, after the murder of Yvonne Fletcher.

The heads of state of the West stand at the ends of lines of perhaps imperfectly elected leaders, and they are arguably responsible for the ongoing results of the actions of their predecessors, especially where they actively perpetuate and exacerbate existing flawed policies. The examples come readily to mind.

Libyan oil has largely been purchased by the European Union, and much of the oil which powers our marvelous civilization is and has long been acquired from unsavory regimes.

But Gaddafi was a uniquely bad character who burned his bridges a long time ago. If the United States had not shattered Iraq in 2003, I believe Saddam Hussein would have faced a similar fate by now.
posted by General Tonic at 9:25 PM on October 20, 2011


After Gadhafi, the West eyes the Libyan prize: Oil rich and deeply divided, the country is vulnerable to outside powers
posted by homunculus at 9:46 PM on October 20, 2011


He had sleeper agents all over the West to intimidate and assassinate Libyans. I guess these folks would be quite bitter about their stipends ending.

I think this is a significant part of Khaddafis support. He, like most dictators, operated the Libyan economy on a system of patronage. He and his closest controlled the most significant sources of wealth and distributed them based on loyalty rather than merit. This means there are many many people who can thank their position and wealth on their demonstrations of allegiance to the dictator, who has lived in this system of being rewarded thus for many decades, and who now find it difficult to change tack and 'betray' that trust.
posted by Catfry at 1:39 AM on October 21, 2011


After Gadhafi, the West eyes the Libyan prize: Oil rich and deeply divided, the country is vulnerable to outside powers

I have to wonder who at Salon came up with that headline. Here's what the article itself says:
The U.S./NATO intervention in Libya was not a “war for oil.” Access to oil wasn’t even the main issue during the 1970s or 1980s, years of U.S. opposition to Libya’s role in supporting national liberation movements during the Cold War, or through the 1990s when the U.S. isolated Libya for its involvement with terrorism. Libya’s sweet light crude was always widely available on the world’s oil market.
posted by Anything at 1:42 AM on October 21, 2011


1980s Sitcom Predicted Gaddafi's Death (via)
posted by griphus at 6:04 AM on October 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


I don't think he's dead. Anyone seen Jackie Stallone?
posted by stormpooper at 7:23 AM on October 21, 2011


Gaddhafi's last words: "Do you know right from wrong?"
posted by BobbyVan at 8:40 AM on October 21, 2011


WATCH: Jon Stewart's 'WTF' Reaction To GOP On Gaddafi.
posted by ericb at 11:39 AM on October 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Syrian protesters vow to bring down Assad regime: Death of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya brings new momentum to uprising as demonstrators call for international military intervention

Yemeni protesters hope Gaddafi's death will give them new momentum: Footage of the Libyan dictator's dead body was greeted with cheers in Sana'a, but some fear it will harden their ruler's attitude
posted by homunculus at 1:15 PM on October 21, 2011


I'm having a little crush on Hillary Clinton right now.

CBS News:
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shared a laugh with a television news reporter moments after hearing deposed Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi had been killed.

"We came, we saw, he died," she joked when told of news reports of Qaddafi's death by an aide in between formal interviews.
posted by BobbyVan at 1:29 PM on October 21, 2011


NY Post cover: "Khadafy killed by Yankee fan - Gunman had more hits than A-Rod."
posted by caddis at 2:04 PM on October 21, 2011


Politico on Condoleezza Rice's upcoming memoir

After dinner, which took place in 2008, Qadhafi announced that he had made Rice — whom he had called an “African princess” to others — a videotape.

“‘Uh oh’, I thought. ‘What is this going to be?’” she writes in her memoirs.

It turned out to be an innocent collection of photos containing Rice and other world leaders, set to a song called, “Black Flower in the White House,” written for her by a Libyan composer.

“It was weird, but at least it wasn’t raunchy,” Rice reflected.

posted by Anything at 2:08 PM on October 21, 2011


his arrest and trial would have been a great conclusion
this savage lynching makes me feel ill


What if it would have killed more people on both sides to take him alive than to take him dead? That doesn't seem implausible. How many others should die (without trial) to ensure that one man - whose guilt isn't really in question - gets the formality of a trial? Whose child's life would you trade for his?
posted by Salamandrous at 2:48 PM on October 21, 2011 [6 favorites]


"We came, we saw, he died," she joked when told of news reports of Qaddafi's death by an aide in between formal interviews.

Times like these make me wish she hadn't made up that shit about getting fired upon by snipers in Bosnia.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:24 PM on October 21, 2011


Craig Murray in Circuses Without Bread: This murder is becoming the norm.

It seems this is becoming more and more common, although I'm sure part of that is just the increased media focus.

I'll put in my standard disclaimer. Gaddafi, like Anwar al-Awlaki and bin Laden before him, is a murderous d-bag. But that doesn't mean we should celebrate this death.

Besides, doing anything else would be hurty and loud!

If hurty is now more American than trial by judicial system, then that's not a good thing, is it?
posted by formless at 5:21 PM on October 21, 2011


What if it would have killed more people on both sides to take him alive than to take him dead? That doesn't seem implausible. How many others should die (without trial) to ensure that one man - whose guilt isn't really in question - gets the formality of a trial? Whose child's life would you trade for his?

You've got to finish your thoughts. He was taken alive.

Re: Hillary: Poor joke in poor taste.
posted by Trochanter at 5:42 PM on October 21, 2011


Zenga zenga!
posted by vrakatar at 6:56 PM on October 21, 2011


Gaddhafi's last words: "Do you know right from wrong?"

I think I can understand why someone might choose to shoot him right then.
posted by Amanojaku at 11:15 PM on October 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


Yeah, kind of like the last scene in Se7en.
posted by Meatbomb at 2:06 AM on October 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


A pity Tony Blair wasn't around to stick up for him.
posted by Artw at 6:15 AM on October 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


>is there some weird little Stalinist/Maoist sect out there that has some elaborate theory of why Gaddafi was an ally of the proletarian revolution and makes a point of patrolling the Guardian's comment sections?

Yes.
posted by verstegan at 3:39 PM on October 22, 2011


Chavez calls Libyan leader 'a martyr'
posted by rosswald at 8:02 PM on October 22, 2011


How many others should die (without trial) to ensure that one man - whose guilt isn't really in question - gets the formality of a trial?

I'd sacrifice myself, if we're asking who we throw at the lion there. I'd do it. Not to avoid killing him, but in support of a democratic and just government.
As sympathetic as I am to killing him, I have to draw the line at simply killing him in cold blood once he's captured.
The photos are a travesty as well.
They don't bother me at all. And I know the media likes people to jerk off over war porn and dirty laundry.
But doing that stuff is a failure to consider what kind of ground and precedent you're laying down for the future.
If people don't respect the law, if the law is corrupt and abused by a dictator, then it's little wonder people want him dead.
But why do they want him dead? Because justice is not being done. So what should the first act you perform be?

But that's all 'should' s. Things can get bent up in extreme situations.
posted by Smedleyman at 9:11 PM on October 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


But doing that stuff is a failure to consider what kind of ground and precedent you're laying down for the future.

Maybe I am just not following your argument here, but this is exactly why I am happy about the way things have turned out, why in many ways this is a much more effective outcome than a long boring trial in the Hague.

The precedent that is set with Benito, Ceaucescu, Qadaffi: don't be an unpopular dictator who clings to power when the chips are down, you end up dying like a dog at the hands of your angry people. Get out while the getting's good, take the offer of exile when things start to turn bad.
posted by Meatbomb at 3:31 AM on October 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh gosh, we wouldn't want to be "boring," now, would we.

Get out while the getting's good, take the offer of exile when things start to turn bad.

Now, balance that with the concept of a true hero dying for their country.
posted by rhizome at 10:01 AM on October 23, 2011


A remaining realm of American excellence: National celebrations regularly erupt over the latest corpse produced by the government, but little else
posted by homunculus at 1:23 PM on October 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Clearer video
posted by atomicmedia at 5:02 PM on October 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


> But doing that stuff is a failure to consider what kind of ground and precedent you're laying down for the future.

Maybe I am just not following your argument here, but this is exactly why I am happy about the way things have turned out, why in many ways this is a much more effective outcome than a long boring trial in the Hague.


I thought Smedleyman's argument was quite clear, actually. Basically, he was saying "why stoop to Qaddafi's level", and "justice is different from revenge".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:20 AM on October 24, 2011


Yeah, I'd be a bit nervous if I were Hugo Chavez right now too.
posted by Artw at 7:17 AM on October 24, 2011


There's a lot to admire about Chavez, but sometimes it seems like he's just trolling. As here.
posted by stinkycheese at 12:14 PM on October 24, 2011


There's a lot to admire about Chavez

Go on...
posted by empath at 12:19 PM on October 24, 2011


Well, he *seemed* better than whatever that US backed coup would have installed, but since then he's been making alarming lurches towards becoming mini-Castro.
posted by Artw at 12:28 PM on October 24, 2011


but since then he's been making alarming lurches towards becoming mini-Castro.

To be sure, he's got pretty much every single oil company in the world (and consequently: Western governments) gunning for his shit, for years. I'd think it would be completely natural to be defensive in that situation. You can say he's like Ahmadinejad-with-power, but when I hear someone try to tar people with the Castro brush it makes me wonder what it's like to be the president of a country that more-or-less wants to be left alone, or wants to be left to be Socialist.

I mean really, what leverage does Chavez have over anything in the world, other than oil? Consequently, what is the source of this global animosity, if not oil?
posted by rhizome at 1:35 PM on October 24, 2011


I'd count standing up to the oil companies as a good thing, on the other hand opposition crackdowns, supporting every nutbag with a grief against the US and the moves towards making himself president for life are all rather worrying.
posted by Artw at 1:42 PM on October 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


Maybe I am just not following your argument here, but this is exactly why I am happy about the way things have turned out, why in many ways this is a much more effective outcome than a long boring trial in the Hague.

Throughout history almost every strategist and warfighter has compared violence to fire.
It's an extremely apt comparison. Fire can be extremely useful and can be made to perform useful work (boil water for steam power, etc). It can also get out of control very quickly if you don't tend to it carefully.

You must take precautions with using fire. If you make a bonfire to boil water for tea, you are doing it wrong. If you set a fire in a dry area with a lot of kindling, it's very possible you will have a forest fire that will get out of control and destroy far more than you intended.

So too with violence. If it is not well controlled it very easily gets out of hand.

So you take precautions. As you create barriers for fire, in a boiler say, so too you have laws and patterns of behavior and training that restrict the conditions for the spread of violence.

It's a very simple thing to kill someone. Even simpler to kill them in anger. It is not the most effective means of achieving a goal however.

And that would be the point. What is the goal here?
Your statement is about deterrence. Joe Future Dictator will see what happened to the other guy and be afraid of it.
The same argument can be made for capital punishment. In that case it's not true. There is no deterrent effect.
In the case of dictators and oppressive regimes, unquestionably, there is no deterrent.
Many dictators have died horrible deaths. They have been tortured to death. And many have lived to ripe old ages.
They are driven by political forces as well as a healthy dose of self-delusion. These ends are inconsequential to the forces that drive them.

I'm taking a bunch for granted here. In a nutshell - dictators are not driven by individual motive, but by movements. That they delude themselves that they are one with the political climate, creators of it, rather than embodiments or avatars, is irrelevant to whatever end they face.

Any of them, if they knew with certainty they faced a horrible end, would do it again. And if not them, if somehow they were enlightened, it would be someone else.

Therefore your goal - even if deterrence worked perfectly - is far too single pointed and small to have much effect.
Killing one man does not stop a machine. Killing leadership, while strategically useful, does not stop a movement or social or political (or religious) system.

The goal should not be to kill one man but to stop the system that gave rise to their ability to abuse and subvert the social order.

So what's the best way to do that? Support a social order. How? Invest in justice, equity, liberty - as far as possible under chaotic conditions, order and stability - which can lead naturally to greater liberty.

In order to do that, the support for such things must be obvious and visible.
How do you make that most visible?
Take the worst case scenario - a tyrant - and put them through a long boring trial in the Hague.

That is, of course, if your goal is to eliminate the tyranny and not merely supplant it and become a tyrant oneself.
It's not possible to kill one's way to victory or to achieve a new, lasting social order.
Certainly there are genocides, but those aren't so popular and don't much lead to happy, lasting societies (not to go Godwin here).

Killing is not an end, it's a tool only for specific and necessary situations, and one that can too easily turn in your hand if overused, even under the best conditions.

Again, this is not to say I don't recognize why someone wouldn't kill Gaddafi, or that it's not a cathartic act, but that it's not ideal.

In the case of UBL, he was specifically targeted, it was impossible to capture him, and he was killed out of necessity. No grisly photos of him were published, passed around, celebrated, etc.

Was it possible to capture Gaddafi? Maybe. I don't like armchair quarterbacking these things.
Was it strategically necessary to kill Gaddafi? Again, yeah, maybe it was. Maybe killing him eliminated some potential resistance from forces allied with him.

All those things I have no problem with.

But, if it is possible to capture someone and put them on trial it's ideal to do so rather than deliberately execute them and parade their dead body around.

The images I have great distaste for. The language there is that this is what people understand as power. That is the language Gaddafi used. If one wants to create a society in which power has another language, law, justice, stability, one needs to remove those graphic displays from society.

It's forgivable though. They were a long time under the lash. There's a great deal of work to be done and that they haven't started on it speaks perhaps more to the chaos and pain they endured in the past than the society they wish to be in the future.

They've got the Carthaginian Republic in their past. The interim government looks pretty serious. As long as the international community doesn't hose them or beach them they could have a very bright future.

But again, in order to have a change, you have to be that change, not merely overcome power. It's not enough to kill a dictator, you have to eliminate the conditions for dictators to thrive.
That means long boring trials. Control of violence. Elimination of arbitrary power in favor of codified law.
posted by Smedleyman at 2:28 PM on October 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


'An analysis appears to confirm that a rebel fighter sodomized Gaddafi with a knife.'
posted by Anything at 4:07 PM on October 24, 2011


Thanks Smedleyman, that makes a lot of sense. I guess there must be some element of catharsis and vengeance in my own positive emotional reaction. I'll agree with you that it is likely not the most efficacious outcome but can't at this moment change my positive feelings toward they way it has turned out...

By trail or by lamp post, here's hoping that Kissinger, Rumsfeld, Assad, Kony, and Kim Jong Il don't get to die in their sleep as free men!
posted by Meatbomb at 8:00 PM on October 24, 2011


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