Kaddafi dead. Long live “democracy.”

Drudge understands the truth, and says it. Of how many other mainstream conservative websites could that be said? Here is Drudge’s photo and headline:



Eight year ago the United States made peace with Kaddafi, and put paid to the history between our two countries, including the Lockerbie bombing. The best and the brightest hailed this peace as a wonderful vindication of Bush’s foreign policy. U.S. officials including Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Sen. John McCain, and President Obama had friendly meetings with Kaddafi over the years, speaking of their desire to advance the two countries’ bilateral relationship.


Kaddafi never violated his agreements with us and never became a threat to us or our allies. He spoke in the warmest terms of the United States and of Obama. Yet the instant that people whom we chose to call democrats rose up in rebellion against him, our ideology and what we perceived as our political self-interest required that we side against him. We attacked his country, bombed his military and his government, bombed his residence, drove him from power, and now we have killed him.

I will not become a moral relativist and make the despicable statement, which some on the anti-war right and the European New Right have made in the past, that the U.S. is as immoral as the Soviet Union. Nevertheless, there is now significant and terrible overlap between the behavior of the U.S.S.R and the behavior of the United States. We are not a moral state; we are not a state under the rule of law. We are, as Solzhenitsyn said of the Soviet Union, an ideological state, a state that will do anything, violate any agreement, betray any ally or friend, tell any lie, cover up any truth, in order to advance its ideology and its power that is associated with that ideology.

In betraying and killing a foreign leader with whom we had made peace, we have taken on terrible karma. I tremble to think of how that karma will manifest itself against us in the years to come.

(Here are previous VFR entries on the U.S./NATO war against Kaddafi.)

* * *

AP reports:

SIRTE, Libya—Dragged from hiding in a drainage pipe, a wounded Moammar Gadhafi raised his hands and begged revolutionary fighters: “Don’t kill me, my sons.” Within an hour, he was dead, but not before jubilant Libyans had vented decades of hatred by pulling the eccentric dictator’s hair and parading his bloodied body on the hood of a truck.

Without the military force that we employed against him, his government would not have fallen and he would not have been captured and killed by the rebels. We did not directly kill him. But we were indispensable accessories in his killing. An accessory to a murder shares the guilt of the murder.

UPDATE: Correction: the U.S. was an accessory of the killing of Kaddafi not only in the sense that its bomb attacks were indispensable in overthrowing his regime. The U.S. was instrumental in his capture, which led directly to his killing. This is from today’s New York Times:

For weeks, as the fight for Surt, Colonel Qaddafi’s hometown and final redoubt in the eight-month conflict, reached a bloody climax, NATO forces and Libyan fighters had watched for an attempt by his armed loyalists to flee and seek safety elsewhere. Soon after dawn, they did, leaving urban bunkers in the Mediterranean town and heading west, said a senior Western official in Europe knowledgeable about NATO’s operations in Libya.

Around 8:30 a.m. local time, a convoy slipped out of a fortified compound in Surt, the scene of one of the civil war’s bloodiest and longest battles and a city that was on the verge of falling to Colonel Qaddafi’s opponents.

Before the convoy had traveled two miles, NATO officials said, it was set upon by an American Predator drone and a French warplane. With the attack the convoy “was stopped from progressing as it sought to flee Surt but was not destroyed,” Defense Minister GĂ©rard Longuet of France said.

Only two vehicles in the convoy were hit, neither carrying Colonel Qaddafi, a Western official said. But the rest of the convoy was forced to detour and scatter. Anti-Qaddafi fighters rapidly descended on the scene, telling Reuters they saw people fleeing through some nearby woods and gave pursuit.

A field leader in Surt, who gave his name to Al Jazeera television as Mohammed al-Laith, said that Colonel Qaddafi fled from a Jeep in the convoy and dived into a large drainage pipe. After a gun battle backed by his guards, he emerged. Mr. Laith told Al Jazeera that the former Libyan leader had a Kalashnikov in one hand, a pistol in the other.

“What’s happening?” he quoted him as asking as he came out.

The video on Al Jazeera shows Colonel Qaddafi wounded, but clearly alive. The network quoted a fighter saying that he had begged for help. “Show me mercy!” he was said to have cried. There was little of that, in the video at least.

One fighter is seen pulling his hair, and others beat his limp body. Two fighters interviewed by Al Jazeera said someone had struck his head with a gun butt….

In a cellphone video that went viral on the Internet, the deposed Libyan leader is seen splayed on the hood of a truck and then stumbling amid a frenzied crowd, seemingly begging for mercy. He is next seen on the ground, with fighters grabbing his hair. Blood pours down his head, drenching his golden brown khakis, as the crowd shouts, “God is great!”

Colonel Qaddafi’s body was shown in later photographs, with bullet holes apparently fired into his head at what forensic experts said was close range, raising the possibility that he was executed by anti-Qaddafi fighters.

- end of initial entry -

October 21

Matt writes:

The cell phone camera video of an angry mob of Moslems torturing and then murdering Kaddafi is a near-perfect symbol of the “Arab Spring.” A U.S. drone piloted video-game-style from Colorado to the thunderous applause of neocons and Democrats, chanting “Democracy!” as their Mohammedan cousins shout “Allahu Akbar” and fire small arms into the air, completes the picture.

Julia P. writes:

So now Libya has freedom. One man kept millions of Lybians from freedom? One man? Can someone explain to me how a single human being, two arms, two legs, one head, one nose, two eyes, two ears, etc. kept millions from freedom? For 40 years.

Julia continues:
Notice that in this Arab spring, the fight is always against “one man.” Mubarak, Khaddafi, etc. Somehow one man kept freedom from the masses. The elimination of this “one man” puts the nation on the way to progress and freedom.

It appears to me this the attack on this “one man” standing in the way of freedom is a very emotional, primitive form of revolution. Personalized in one man. And it always seems to wind up in the downfall or death of that one man, as if there were some sort of catharsis in this process of liberation. Mubarak and Khaddafi as pinatas.

LA replies:

There are different directions we could go with your interesting thoughts on this. Here is the first that occurs to me. Remember what I said recently about the inherent inability of Muslims to form a decent, stable, society, and how this is connected with the “eternal Muslim civil war,” in which one leader or ethnic group overcomes and suppresses another, until that ruler is overthrown by another? Well, what this means is that the closest that Muslims can come to freedom is to topple the current despot (that “one man”), and put a new despot (another “one man”) in his place. There is nothing new about this. What is new and amazing is the fantastic delusion of contemporary Westerners that toppling one “one man” is going to lead, not to another “one man,” but to Muslim “freedom.”

Virginia Abernethy writes:

We’ve fallen very low.

Donna E. writes:

It amazes me that these bloodied pictures are on every news channel but Osama Bin Laden’s pics were “too gory” to be shown. Is OBl really dead?

LA replies:

These are two entirely different situations; there’s no comparison between them. The U.S. government killed OBL in secret and disposed of the body. It was in control of whether to show pictures or not, and it chose not to.

Kaddafi was killed by a mob of rebels who captured him and beat him up then shot him dead, and the body was on display for all to see and whoever wanted to take photos/video was able to.

N. writes:

If memory serves, getting rid of Louis XVI was supposed to bring liberty, equality and fraternity to France circa 1793. And ridding Russia of Nicholas II was supposed to do the same for that country in 1917.

So I’m not persuaded that the primitive revolution focused on “one man” is unique to the Arab or Muslim part of the world. It is a reductionist approach to societal change much beloved by the Left.

We need to point out the fact that instability and unpredictability of government are inherent “features” of Islam, to be sure. But the focus on “one man” as the source of all problems does not appear to be unique to that culture.

October 22

Kathlene M. writes:

N. wrote:

“So I’m not persuaded that the primitive revolution focused on “one man” is unique to the Arab or Muslim part of the world. It is a reductionist approach to societal change much beloved by the Left.”

N. has a point but it applies to both the Left and the Right. The Left felt that, once they removed President Bush who was the embodiment of all evil, President Obama would transform our society to a peaceful liberal utopia. Now consider that many conservatives today believe that once we replace President Obama with President “Anybody But Obama,” conservative values will be restored and the market and thus the country will be “free” again, even if all evidence shows that liberalism has infected every fiber of our society including our politics. There will be no change until we confront and change the Leftist totalitarian ideology that rules the West.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at October 20, 2011 10:20 PM | Send

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