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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 10/23/11

Humiliation And Death As A Tool Of National Policy

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'It's not acceptable to kill a person without trying him,' said Louay Hussein, a Syrian
(Image by NATO)
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"It's not acceptable to kill a person without trying him," said Louay Hussein, a Syrian by NATO

"It's not acceptable to kill a person without trying him," said Louay Hussein, a Syrian opposition figure in Damascus. "I prefer to see the tyrant behind bars." New York Times, October 20

The New York Times reported that a NATO jet and drones disabled vehicles in a convoy carrying Muammar Gaddafi near the besieged town of Sirte on October 20. Loyalists in the remaining vehicles scattered becoming easy prey for the emboldened fighters of the new Libyan state.

Reuters expanded the narrative on the 21st by reporting that Gaddafi fled from his jeep, hid in a drainage pipe, and emerged with an automatic weapon and side arm. He was manhandled and slapped by the soldiers of the new Libya. He allegedly asked the crowd, "Don't you know right from wrong?" They took exception to the question and shot him twice in the head. He was transported to Misurata, scene of one of the few decisive victories by the former rebels. Gaddafi's corpse was placed on a bare mattress and put on display for the public on the 22nd. It remains there today, although it is now reportedly covered by a blanket (Reuters, October 23).

There's a new sheriff in town, NATO.

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Left, Gaddafi captured and alive - center, shot in the head - right, the official deat by Michael Collins

Left, Gaddafi captured and alive - center, shot in the head - right, the official death shot
From video/video images carried by the New York Times, BBC and al Jazeera.

On one level, the truth of this story matters a great deal. On another level, accuracy is not as important as the clear message to those who oppose United States, French, and British policy executed by NATO. Those who resist will be publicly humiliated in the most primitive way and then killed. The composite story indicates intent and intent reveals policy.

It's not just leaders who will be punished

"You have won your revolution. And now, we will be a partner as you forge a future that provides dignity, freedom and opportunity." President Barack Obama, White House, October 20, 2011

The citizens of Gaddafi's home town, Sirte, were said to be special beneficiaries of the ruler's largesse. The Mediterranean port was prosperous and productive amidst the strangeness and strictures of his arbitrary rule. Were citizens supposed to object on moral grounds because their benefactor favored them? What risk would they have incurred by doing so, even if they wanted to turn away special favors? They had no choice but they got the message from NATO. It's your turn to die.

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From Sirte, Libya: "Not one building is intact. Windows are shattered. Shops are shuttered by Libyan Free Press

From Sirte, Libya: "Not one building is intact. Windows are shattered. Shops are shuttered and the city's 120,000 residents are nowhere to be seen." Mark Bastian, AFP, October 23 (Image: Libyan Free Press)

Hadn't they heard the pronouncements from the United States, Great Britain, and France that Gaddafi was reformed and a member in good standing of the world community? Perhaps they missed President Barack Obama's announced change in that assessment.

When the Libyan rebels and their NATO allies prevailed over Gaddafi's forces, Sirte stood as the most prominent holdout against the government that denies that it is, in fact, a government, the National Transition Council (NTC). The citizens of Sirte didn't attack any other city. They simply lived there.

In early September, the top commander of the RTC announced that Sirte would be taken by force if the town failed to surrender. There were pro Gaddafi forces in the city. But city officials, separate from those forces, tried to negotiate a peaceful end to the threatened siege. Unfortunately, the residents and their representatives lacked the power to do the one thing that was needed to save their lives, surrender Gaddafi. For this, the town was demolished by NATO bombings and many were injured or killed.

Civilization in the balance

The statement by Syrian opposition activist, Louay Hussein, supporting due process of law and basic human rights stands in stark contrast to the entirety of President Obama's statement on the same day Gaddafi was murdered. Louvay's long time opposition to violence as a means of change is not at all apparent by Obama's behavior as a leader. Obama increased fighting in Afghanistan along with troops. Libya is the Nobel Peace Prize winner's second major descent into violence, this time through the NATO proxy. In his October 20 statement from the White House, Obama said:

"So this is a momentous day in the history of Libya. The dark shadow of tyranny has been lifted. And with this enormous promise, the Libyan people now have a great responsibility -- to build an inclusive and tolerant and democratic Libya that stands as the ultimate rebuke to Qaddafi's dictatorship." President Barack Obama, October 20

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