If Gadhafi were killed in a shootout like Saddam Hussein’s sons, I would have no problem. If we locate him in a training camp and obliterate it with a missile, I would have no problem either. Those are legitimate actions in a war zone and are morally and intellectually defensible.
However, when we found Saddam Hussein, a man just as evil as his sons or Gadhafi, hiding in a hole in Tikrit we did things a little differently. Because regardless of the lawless scum we were hunting, it was Americans doing the hunting.
The scenarios are eerily similar. Both men were found in makeshift hidey-holes. Both had members of an entourage or security detail with them. Both were discovered by a group of hundreds of their enemies, all armed to the teeth. Both were found shaken or disoriented. Both were taken alive.
The difference? Hussein was captured by American soldiers. Gadhafi was captured by Muslim insurgents. Hussein got three hots and a cot for a few months, was tried, convicted and executed. Gadhafi was promptly murdered by his captors. This act is now celebrated by GOP politicians as justice and overdue justice, at that.
When did I wake up in Bizarro World? I thought I lived in America.
We certainly see the philosophical point being made here, but we just don’t happen to agree with it. Or, more likely, we really don’t give a hoot how obviously guilty beasts like Momo get sent to hell.
You see, we tend to believe in “live by the sword, die by the sword”, just in the same way that our SympathyMeter™ doesn’t as much as register a twitch of the needle when people holier than us agonize over terrorists not being offered the full protections of the Geneva Conventions.
Momo died the way he chose to live. He had tyrannized, murdered and brutalized without ever giving a second thought to the “rights” of his victims and those victims, some of them we might add, chose to send him off to Satan in the same way. Tough shit, Momo.
Was he given fair treatment by American standards? Of course he wasn’t, but he had deliberately chosen to disregard anything even resembling those standards for every year of his tyrannical, murderous regime, so why should he be treated differently? Because he “deserved” it?
We could think up at least four full pages of what he truly deserved, and we can assure you that the list would make even the most hardened barbarian savage vomit his guts out in fear.
His Imperial Majesty firmly believes that the only way you can convince somebody to play by the rules is to make it abundantly clear that if he disregards the rules, then the rules will be disregarded where he’s concerned too.
“We’ll give you three hots and a cot, several months of trials with fair representation followed by decades of appeals in order to give you a shot at overturning the verdict and we’ll keep you fed, entertained and housed throughout” isn’t, if you ask us, a terribly effective way to convince barbarians who think nothing of sawing people’s heads off with dull knives that they will face dire consequences if they do not mend their barbarian ways.
An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. It is good enough for G-d, so it’s certainly good enough for His Imperial Majesty as well.
WE don’t think we’re more enlightened than G-d, after all.
And did anybody think about asking the passengers of Pan Am Flight 103 what they thought about Momo’s lack of “due process?”
Probably not, because they couldn’t be reached for comment:
P.S.: And please, this isn’t about whether or not we’re better off with Libya being run by a bunch of raving pisslamic lunatics than we were with that deranged dimwit Momo. We can’t possibly go to war with every nation we have a disagreement with — although France would be high on our list — so we have to occasionally go with “better the devil you know.” This is only about whether we should feel outraged about the way that Momo finally got what was coming to him.