Gadhaffi’s lynching was disturbing. Now, of course, it’s hard to feel sorry for a boastfully brutal dictator but for a bleeding, begging man? We’re human, all too human. Of course, the brutal shoebeating was a much-too human outburst, too, so I’ll leave away the morality insights.
What does it say of the new regime? It is, most definitely, a bad start to what the world expects to develop into a democratic regime. Brutal retribution is fine for quenching the moment’s anger but for the consolidation of a regime on it’s way to becoming a democracy (?) you need a long drawn public trial, no matter how frustrating it can be. So, the failure of the transitory regime, (remains to be seen if it is that, by the way), to discipline the passions of its soldiers is a bad start. A very bad start. The importance of holding a dictator to trial cannot be understated. For that matter, anybody who you claim to be fighting in a “just war” . And, of course, like most flouting of international law, which should apply in civil war situations, it’s the USA which sets the standard. I refer to the assassination, but they’d call it extermination, of OBL, which was an act comparable to the lynching of Libya’s longtime lunatic.
Why is it necessary?
Well, for starts, International Law is what makes the disparate nation-states a world community. As much a it is necessary within state territory, it is in the world community, if that is what we are claiming to be. We often hear this term – civilized world. Well, how is your world civilized and different if you have no respect for the laws which make your civilization a civilization? And law is standard applied to all, even those who claim to be enemies of your ‘way of life’. How can you claim that yours is a morally justified position if your standards of justice are the same as that of your enemy?
So, it’s bad for Libya that they didn’t see Gadhaffi dragged into court like a common criminal and made answerable to the people, the whole of them, for his crimes against them. It was a satisfaction the Egyptians got. Their Libyan friends were robbed of it by momentary undisciplined anger.
There is a second thing I want to touch upon. Many analysts have asked this question – would NATO action against Libya have been undertaken if Gaddafi hadn’t surrendered his nuclear programme? I think not. Then, General Kayani of Pakistan is quite right in his recent boast that the USA would dare not take action against nuclear armed Pakistan. We’re not Afghanistan or Iraq. We have a bomb. Quite rightly said, General. So, that’s the message of the Libyan intervention. If you’ve got a bomb just never let it go. If you haven’t, well, it’s a sixty year old technology, like colour TV. How hard can it be? Well done then guys. You’ve made the world a safer place.