The New Libya’s First Mistake

October 21, 2011

Muammar Qaddafi should not have been killed, and his surviving son should be captured.
By Christopher Hitchens

Surrendering to a feeling of deep impotence and slight absurdity, I borrowed an iPad on Thursday afternoon and used it to send my first-ever message by this means. It was addressed to one of those distinguished Frenchmen who have been at the fore in pressing the outside world to remove Muammar Qaddafi from the obscene toadlike posture in which, for more than four decades, he has squatted on the lives of the Libyan people.

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Anonymous said...

In this article he seems sure that Qaddafi was killed deliberately. I didn't know that this was known for sure. Isn't it possible that he really was hit by cross-fire and later died?

Anonymous said...

I am a big fan of Mr. Hitchens, but the answer here, is simple: who killed Ghaddafi? FUENTEOVEJUNA.
All said.

I suppose from a technical standpoint hitch is probably right, but its the kind of nuance that requires his wordsmith know-how. One could certainly say that Al-Awlaki's crimes did not match Qaddafi's in any way shape or form, if only because the former did not have the chance to match the latter. One could then say hitch's stance was ever so slightly hypocritical, which is the way I'm leaning.

Then there's this business about invoking the "unpolished" and "botched" Saddam execution. First of all, I think it's presumptuous to connect that incident and those events to this recent happening; if only because of the vast diversity of circumstances. Saddam's execution was precluded by a trial. A trial, which, in the minds of many, should never have been conducted because it was insulting to the Iraqi people. If you don't like the idea of putting someone on trail for a crime when visual evidence (film) exists to confirm their guilt, then hold on to your horses; because it gets worse. Hussein, aided by his trusty sidekick Ramsey Clark, (whom hitchens condemned) proceeded to make a mockery of the court. First he was invoking God, then interrupting everybody else whenever it suited him. Cross examination, testimony, the whole time the poor forgotten dear leader raving like a lunatic, cackling as the disgusting crimes he committed were read out.

There's no doubt that what went on was a drawn out fiasco of a god damn show trial. The cruel and vicious arcade style antics that were permitted to take place during said trial, not only lasted far longer than Saddam's execution (several minutes), but also left more scars and deeper wounds. It was much more "botched" and "unpolished" than the execution of any dictator. At least Slobodan Milosevic respected the dignity of the court.

Which brings me to my next set of points. Would it have been a noble service to justice if we'd had hitler parading around Nuremberg? Screaming at the top of his lungs about God redeeming him in the hereafter and punishing the friends of the degenerate zionist christ-killers? I don't think so. The only positive I could see to putting him on trial is that it might restore some tentative faith in world court system. After all the bribery and dictator-loving nonsense those people have been involved with, there reputation is much further in the toilet than the US public image ever was or could ever hope to be. Just thought I'd put that out there for all you don'thavealifeorjobwanttoblameitonsomebodyelsesoi'llOCCUPYWALLST. folks.

If one wants to say it should have been handled differently...well, in hitchens' case I can accept it because I know that he would be willing to do what it takes to make sure that's possible. In other words, if we didn't want it to be a messy mob rule style execution, that would entail being more hands on, more involved, with more of a physical presence, boots on the ground, etc. Otherwise, you have less control over what happens and you have no way of knowing if the government that takes hold really cares about the Libyan people and it could be 1979 all over again. Neither side can legitimately criticize his killing. In short, to stop Qaddafi's killing in this manner, you would've either needed more intervention or less. Christopher is at least consistent here, though I think he misses the point. With the anti-war bugs, the argument is thinner because of obvious conflicts of interest. How can you be for the Libyan people, against helping or "interfering" and then to top it all off, say that someone should've "interfered" to make sure he was treated according to "our" wishes, as the anti-imperialist left would say. If the conflict isn't our business, why is his death our business? It doesn't seem like anybody has a firm grasp on this one.

Anonymous said...

i am not going to publish. my work is for private purposes, cartoons and games, elementary entertainment, and for pure joy with an exnihilic-imagination that christopher hitchens entirely lacks. if he had an imagination, he would be in a position to appreciate another with one. Everything he says and writes depends on the works of others. the piece on gandhi is the dumbest and most heinous misrepresentation of a man that can be written. and his criticism is cliche, every angle of every metaphor and irony in his words are copies of previous people.
if coloniziation and its profligate consumption for immediate gain were subdued to a balanced state, there would be no beginning. you are a child of humanity. and if your little mind could open to balanced truths, it is of no use, for you are a committed colonist and liar. your military is in 130 other countries and you speak of decolonizing american soil. the chinese and americans are directly responsible for the destruction of the amazon, because of the demand for soy beans for cattle feed, and what is it going to be like with half an amazon? you are a disgustingly ignorant and simple minded copycat inttellectual.
look at Occupy Wall Street -- 99% Too Big to Fail. you are cocaine-high-arrogant-beyond-definition-future-human-taxing potato-nationed idiots.

Anonymous said...

Lots of mudslinging and very little actual evidence for the claims.

TheSuna said...

I was under the impression that Quaddafi was killed by crossfire - I think it was one of the later BBC reports from that day.

Does anyone have any more recent information? And does anyone know what the NTC forces' policy was regarding the actions to be taken once Quaddafi was found?

Faux Real said...

The official position was explained on NPR by the NTC's head of government himself and there's no way that they weren't going to take the out that Qaddafi was the victim of crossfire. Then his corps was thrown into a commercial freezer - O' how the mighty fall!

Michael Dawson said...

Very cute. Condone the war, then complain that the Sharia fanatics you supported start committing field executions and declare Islam the basis of their new state.

The Skipper said...

Anon 8:29 doesn't make much sense, but "potato-nationed idiot" is an insult I'll look forwarding to borrowing!


Christopher reads from Hitch-22: A Memoir