Comments on: The Gaddafi corpsewatch Tue, 10 Feb 2015 19:54:39 +0000 hourly 1 By: progpop Wed, 26 Oct 2011 17:49:22 +0000 You can find pictures of Benito Mussolini hanging by a meathook upside down in a piazza in northern Italy after he was shot in the back of his head by Italian partisans. I don’t know if he was abused before he was shot, and I don’t know if newspapers published the photos at the time, but I think the photos were kept “sub rosa.”

As for the brutality toward Gaddafi, he had a chance to leave Libya under safe conduct but he chose to fight and eventually he got cornered by a rough group. Sometimes bad things happen to murderous dictators.

By: matthewslyman Sun, 23 Oct 2011 22:56:10 +0000 @Shukla: Simplest possible answer to your question:

Osama bin Laden is reported to have responded to the presence of enemy special forces by making a movement as though reaching for a gun. As a warrior, he must have known what the results would be.

Gaddafi on the other hand, responded to the presence of enemy fighters by shouting, “Don’t shoot”. This is an indication he was surrendering. I doubt he shot himself three times, or that he made his own way into that drainage pipe after being shot already, or that he was able to make himself heard shouting “don’t shoot” above the din of bullets being fired into the pipe. He was almost certainly shot by NTC fighters after coming out from that drainage pipe. We don’t know the whole story yet, but in my opinion the NTC fighters probably decided to finish him off, or “lynch” him. At the very least, we may say for sure that the treatment of already-wounded Gaddafi in his final minutes (being manhandled instead of receiving the same kind of first-aid as the NTC fighters would have given to their own wounded) was against the Geneva Conventions.

In both cases (bin Laden and Gaddafi, if we are to compare them), it would have been preferable (in my opinion) to see them forced to justify themselves on the witness-stand rather than sending them immediately on their way, beyond the bounds of mortality. The opportunity was there with Gaddafi, but perhaps not with bin Laden.

By: guitargenie Sun, 23 Oct 2011 12:03:36 +0000 However unfortunate, death is as much a part of everyday life as is birth, the amazing beauty of birth is frequently captured on film and can be bloody and disturbing for anyone watching. In the latter a beautiful light shines, in the former a light is extinguished. The manner of death in the case of Gaddafi is little short of publicised murder. We as a species advocate fairness and justice and while this man did not by all accounts deserve either one cannot condone this, it only serves to sate those who have a lust for blood and helps to anaesthetise our view of what is becoming common place in the structure of our entertainment formats.

By: Shukla Sun, 23 Oct 2011 01:54:43 +0000 how was killing gaddafi a savage act without trial, but not killing osama?

By: matthewslyman Sat, 22 Oct 2011 18:57:06 +0000 I still wonder whether the killing of Gaddafi was the last act of the old Libya, or will be the first act of the new…

By: matthewslyman Sat, 22 Oct 2011 07:37:32 +0000 Interesting perspectives – only, internet media and news journalism are different products that cater to different audiences. The former is like a visit to the reference library. The latter is like a curated visit to a museum. We individually choose the balance of the media we consume, and the curated channels we choose to follow. We don’t all “follow” this stuff on Twitter, and wouldn’t all be searching YouTube all day to see whether anyone had posted videos of Gaddafi’s death yet.

In my view there are only two justifications for publishing the images of Gaddafi:

1. People need to know he’s dead. It might save lives in Bani Waled if Gaddafi’s soldiers stop fighting for a leader who is no longer around. If guarded from news media, those people are only likely to be reached by viral text messaging.

2. Even though Gaddafi’s régime was brutal, he’s still a human being. Publishing the images shows the truth, that he was himself mistreated in his final hours. It shows the true face of war, and the true results of the kinds of threats Gaddafi made against his people. Witnessing the end is part of our need for reflection on the whole. (It certainly adds a newly vivid colour to all those news videos of NTC fighters from Misrata and Benghazi, promising to personally kill Gaddafi.)

The decision to publish was correct in this case, but meeting brutality with brutality (or even meting out to Gaddafi the kind of “justice” he promised to others) does not help create a new and reconciled Libya. It’s a great shame we didn’t see him squirming on the witness-stand in The Hague, struggling to justify himself – I think this would have served humanity much better. Surely the best revenge is to show the dictator that he is uniquely cruel?

This was a 21st Century public execution event, similar in every essential respect to the public executions of Europe (including England) in the 1500’s.

My opinions…