Gaddhafi’s Lynching : Justice?

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.

4 thoughts on “Gaddhafi’s Lynching : Justice?

  1. united states is setting a terrific precedent by not following due procedure of law in their dealings with terrorists and dictators ….if it becomes a fashion then it would not be exaggeration to say that we r retracting back to the state of nature because ruling ideas becomes the ideas of all….


  2. as far as the legal issues are concerned i agree with you, because in all legal systems, no one can be punished untill he/she is proven criminal, and no one can be called crinimal untill he/she is proven guilty by a neutral court. but about justice in this case (gaddafi’s murder) i have something to say. i think in this case we should consider the issue of justice in two terms, substantive and procedural. (although there can be some questions) in terms of procedural justice, it is clear that murder of gaddafi is unjust, because there was no trial. but in terms of substantive justice, i believe that it was just. you know what gaddagi did during 42 years of ruling in that country. 120 bilion dollars of gaddafi was closed by different countries, who was the real owner of these dollars, people of libya, but gaddafi spent all of the money which he gained through selling oil, for his personal ambitions. 300 young girls were working as his gaurd. (thinking only about this reveal many things) therefore i think in terms of substantive justice there is no question. i want to add another point, gaddafi was stubbornly continuing his nuclear program in 1980s. USA warned him many times, but he did not stop, because he was sure that given the context of cold war USA cannot do anything, eventually USA targeted all his nuclear plants in 1986 and destroyed all of them. he was not so rational to leave nuclear program so easily. the same scenario is happening about iran, and i will not wonder if someday USA destroy irans nuclear plants.


  3. want to add something and revise some part of my comment, USA’s bombing of libya, was not to only target libya’s nuclear plants, different places were targeted, but one of the main reasons behind the attack was gaddafi’s push for nuclear weapon, you can edit the sentence “eventually USA targeted all his nuclear plants in 1986 and destroyed all of them” in this way.


  4. thank you kuldeep and rohullah…

    kuldeep… you rightly point out that International Law is important, especially if we want to move beyond the anarchy of international relations… but maybe it is in the interest of some to have anarchy?

    rohullah… you are right that (maybe) Gaddafi deserved a brutal death because of the crimes he committed… i have written this post from the point of view of… the rule of law being followed in Libya… I think it is very important for the country… setting out to become a democracy… also, I think a rigorous trial of Gaddafi could have provided ‘closure’ to the people of Libya, something like what the Nuremberg trials did… but maybe Gaddafi brought it upon himself and the rage was bound to erupt due to his own evil nature… However, I think it would have been better for Libya…


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