No longer Threatening

Isn’t it strange?  Even in death, we’re still trying to figure out how to spell this guy’s name.  I’ve seen so many spellings of it over the years that I have basically given up trying to figure out which had been correct. Can you imagine being a brutal dictator notorious around the globe, and yet nobody can settle on the spelling of your name in media? Thirty years in the news, and still nobody seems to know for sure.  You’d be miserable too.  Of course, that wasn’t nearly all that made this man miserable, but whether you choose to spell his name Gadhafi, Gaddafi, Qaddafi, Kadhafi, or any of the dozens of other spellings, it doesn’t change the picture: He’s now dead, and he’s in a meat locker.

One of the questions that has arisen in the aftermath of his death is the manner in which he was killed.  As you can imagine, various human rights groups are pointing to the alleged tragedy of the way in which he was killed. Certainly, it was a brutal undertaking, and while none have found video of the moment he was shot to death, there is this disturbing video of the moments leading up to it.  The video is disturbingly graphic, but I think it demonstrates the point of human rights groups:

As you can see from this video, the former dictator was summarily executed and brutalized.  I realize that nobody is going to shed any tears over him, but I think this does rightly cause one to wonder about what form of government the mob depicted in this video will be able to form.  I know that Gaddafi probably had a hand in or directed the deaths of some of their comrades, their relatives, and their neighbors, and it would seem to offer an excuse, but the truth is that the don’t have much patience for our protracted system of justice in the West, with our endless appeals, our temporary stay orders, and our expensive system of capital punishment, so instead, they finished him right then, right there.   Do we in the West have cause to complain?

It makes me wonder what would happen if the thugs down at Occupy Wall Street were able to put their hands on some of those millionaires and billionaires for whom they express vociferous hatred.  Would the outcome be much different?  Isn’t this the implied threat of their mobs?  What all of this makes plain to me, as it should to you, is that our “civilized society” is only ever a hair’s breadth from anarchy and chaos.  All you need to see to know that this is true is a bit of video from the early morning door opening at a major retailer on “Black Friday” as they rush in to grab whatever they can.  Primitive behaviors come much more easily to people than most of us wish to acknowledge.

This is why when news of his death first came out, my posting on the matter focused not on his death, his history, or all of the despicable acts of his life, but instead on the potential blow-back we will now face as a result of the manner of his removal.  We can become wild, thuggish brutes, or we can choose to think.  I believe it is in the latter that our humanity lies.  I believe that’s what separates us from the rest.  Otherwise, we’re not much better than a feeding frenzy in a shark tank.  I don’t feel any sympathy for Gadhafi, but I worry for the country, the people of which think nothing of street justice handed down brutally, and I fear for a nation that stands on brink of similar chaos.

Advertisements