Saturday, October 22, 2011

Gaddafi: Born and Killed in Sirte, Libya

By: Ali Rawaf

In this video, a bunch of the rebels are dragging Gaddafi down the street, htting him, and pulling his hair. Through out the video, one can hear a couple of them yelling "Keep him alive." One of the rebels repeats to Gaddafi, "This is Misrata you dog," referring to the fact that people of city that was bombed the most by Gaddafi's forces have captured him. The camera turns and voices are heard yelling "No, no, no." Gun shots are heard then the crowd starts yelling "God is great, God is great."

It is ironic that the last words of a man who ordered the shooting of thousands of people were “Don’t shoot.” It is also ironic to see the people who revolted against him for his violent control of Lybia end up treating him so violently.

When Saddam Hussein was hung amidst a cheering crowd, telling him to go to “go to hell”, I thought that was barbaric for a country that was trying to put behind decades of violence. But the Libyan rebels took a lot further with their dictator. They shot him in the legs and the head. They dragged him down the street, while hitting him and yelling at him, “shut up you dog.” Gaddafi tried to dodge the punches and wipe his bleeding face.

Later footage shows him lying on a bed of a truck, covered in blood, surrounded by a cheering crowd. “God is great,” they chanted, probably the same word Gaddafi himself chanted when he lead a military coup on his predecessor 42 years ago.

As Gaddafi fell, the chants got louder and the crowds started shooting in the air, celebrating his death.

His son was captured without any injuries. Shortly after, it was reported that he was killed for trying to fight his captors. He wasn’t armed. He was shot four times in the back.

I am not mourning Gaddafi’s death and I am not speaking against the revolutionaries of Libya but what I am trying to say is that it doesn’t make sense to change an era of violence with such an act. On paper, Gaddafi and his son were killed without a trial. This is not a good precedent for a country that wants to build a peaceful democracy.

What Libyans and other revolting countries need to realize is that they are setting precedents. The more peaceful and civilized they are, the more they will advance their cause. It would have made a big difference if the dictator was put through trial. Now, from the beginning, the new Libyan government will have to deal with accusations of violating human rights. Putting him to trial could have been a good initiative to promote rule of law. But they didn't. Nato and the Libya’s National Transitional Council signaled that Gaddafi’s death would end the military operations. The future of Libya is just as uncertain as the way Gaddafi died (or was killed). What I’m certain about is that this is not a good way to start a peaceful democracy.

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