Monday, October 24, 2011

Was it right to kill Gaddafi?

I am not a fan of dictators, but after watching a brutal video in which Muammar Gaddafi is being beaten up by a bloodthirsty crowd, I can't help but feel sorry for the suffering of another human being, however cruel he allegedly was. I'm not going to repost this video here, if you really want to see a lot of real blood, go ahead and google it yourselves. Yes, he was a tyrant who did terrible things to the people of his country. But according to the Geneva convention, prisoners of war (yes, it was a war) are not to be mistreated in such a way. Even Saddam Hussein and Slobodan Milosevic were appointed legal counsel and tried in courts of law.

Capturing a man and brutalizing him is an even worse fate than what cattle experience at a slaughterhouse (though Peta may respectfully disagree). At least cattle are granted a quick death. In fact, any moderately decent man would have simply shot Gaddafi to put him out of his misery, but the melee that can be seen in the video of his capture demonstrates that no decent men were present. And a really decent man would have followed due process of law.

Any prisoner or any person deprived of his freedom is to be granted a trial. That principle is a basic building block of civilization. A trial must be based on factual evidence, and must allow the defendant the opportunity to challenge the accusations. This is what civilized people do.

Also, civilized people do not kill other human beings out of hatred. They place them under arrest, and they bring the suspects to justice. Call me a liberal hippie if you so desire. If you seriously believe that Gaddafi, or any other human being, deserved to be tortured by a frenzied mob, then you are as vile and despicable as Gaddafi himself.

The only situation where it is acceptable to take another human life is in an act of legitimate self-defense against a clear and direct threat. Period. The people in the video were clearly under no threat from the suspect. Their lives and properties were not being threatened.

Unfortunately, this is a barbaric world filled with barbaric people, and I cannot expect illiterate masses to abide by higher moral standards. Yes, morality is relative. Yes, morality does not exist in nature. We come together as human beings, and call upon our natural-born sense of empathy and reason to build our own code of morality, so that we may live in a moral world where justice prevails and all are treated equally in the eyes of the law.

I need to take a break, have a beer and calm down. I need to get these horrible images out of my mind, or I'm going to have nightmares, that for once do not involve missing final boarding call.

Do yourselves a favor: Do not vote into office any politician who supports the death penalty. These men and women are no more than Gaddafi wannabes, and we do not need to have such morally corrupted pigs ruling over us.

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