Contradictory reactions to Kaddafi’s death

Ruth King, an Islam realist who is has been critical of the U.S.-NATO intervention in Libya, writes at Ruthfully Yours:

I don’t shrink from joy that Mubarak and Qaddafi are gone. Far from it. What gives me pause is the way revenge and frustration are meted out.

The sight of Mubarak in a cage or the way in which a mob bludgeoned Qaddafi to death is sickening. We had the Nuremberg Trials and the Eichmann Trials. Monsters were tried and executed.

This is pure and simple mob violence and an indicator of where the Arab Spring is going.

To my mind King seems to contradicting herself, and is also being a bit naive about the realities of Muslim politics. When regimes are overthrown in Muslim countries, especially after a civil war or coup, the leaders of the defeated regime are generally killed with dispatch and without niceties. So the exact manner of Kaddafi’s death is a secondary issue. Yet King seems to object only or principally to the manner of Kaddafi’s death, not to our lawless, criminal, and treasonous—treasonous against ourselves, since we’re empowering al Qaeda—intervention which made his death possible. If King is against the U.S. intervention in Libya and against the U.S. killing of Kaddafi (and make no mistake: the U.S. both attempted to kill him and was a direct accessory in his killing), then she undercuts her own position when she expresses joy at his death.

I repeat: Islam realists including King and myself have been saying since last March that by helping the Libyan rebels we are empowering our jihadist enemies. For an Islam realist to express joy at Kaddafi’s death destroys the Islam-realist position that the rebels are more of a danger to the West than Kaddafi was.

We see the same illogic in King’s celebratory reaction to the fall and now the possible death of Mubarak. If King regards Mubarak’s downfall as an occasion for joy, then she should welcome the Egyptian revolution that toppled him. But of course she has been a critic of the Egyptian revolution all along, not least because the new Egyptian regime is moving toward throwing out the peace treaty with Israel which Mubarak steadfastly (if coldly) maintained for 30 years.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at October 24, 2011 01:46 PM | Send

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