The mark of the beast

What I wrote about Moammar Gaddafi last night was my 666th published post on this blog.

Somehow, that seems oddly appropriate.

Scumbag dies in Libya

Moammar Gaddafi is dead. The ousted Libyan dictator was 69.

The images of his final moments are horrific. His enemies found him crawling through a sewer in his hometown of Sirte, pulled him out, bloodied him, drove him off on a flatbed truck, paraded him (still alive) among the joyous victors, then put a couple of bullets in his chest and a bullet in his head. Here’s a description from the New York Times:

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 at the hands of anti-Qaddafi fighters.

I watched the video. I’m not going to link to it, but it’s easy enough to find. Though his end was repulsive and terrifying, it was what he deserved.

Because:

He sponsored terrorist attacks that killed hundreds. He turned weapons on his own people and killed thousands. He committed crimes against humanity. He was insane. He created immeasurable pain and made the world a more dangerous place.

There’s no sympathy for his end. Decent people throughout the world are celebrating his execution. This from the Washington Post:

Gaddafi was the first leader to be killed in the Arab Spring uprisings, and photos of his blood-smeared face quickly spread across the region, sending a powerful message to both dictators and demonstrators elsewhere, much like photos of former Egyptian ruler Hosni Mubarak being hauled before a court.

Libya erupted in joy as word of his capture and death flashed across Arab-language channels. In Tripoli, celebratory gunfire was so heavy that airspace over the city was closed to traffic.

A couple of days ago, I wrote about lynch mobs and how evil they were. And today, I celebrate the actions of a lynch mob. This is a conflict that bothers me, and I can’t resolve it. But just as I feel nobody deserves to die, I realize some people don’t deserve to live.

Moammar Gaddafi has been on trial for decades. His crimes were proved. The verdict was obvious. Today, the inevitable sentence was carried out.

Libya … and a question of honor

Big news today in north Africa. After 42 years, it looks like Moammar Gaddafi is about to be overthrown. The rebels went into Tripoli faster than thought possible, and now, it’s an urban war, with the remaining Gaddafi loyalists holding out, some fighting to the end.

Reports are scattered. Some say the rebels have caught a few of Gaddafi’s sons. Others indicate the rebels aren’t in as strong a position as they say they are. What is known is that rebels raided Gadaffi’s daughter’s house and Moammar, for now, is nowhere to be found.

So, given all that, you’d think there would be jubilation in the land, right? Obama earlier seemed to get us in another Arab/Muslim war while we’re already tied up in Afghanistan and Iraq. But instead of having the U.S. take the lead, the ones doing the planning have been the British, the French and the Qataris. The U.S. under the NATO umbrella flew airstrikes and provided intelligence, which made the jobs of the allies and the rebels much easier. We’re not bogged down in another war, no U.S. military casualties and it’s not a battle on our tab.

So what’s to criticize? Roll Call chimes in:

Top Republicans criticized President Barack Obama on Sunday for not moving quicker on Libya but lent their support for U.S. military action, even as they strongly urged the administration to expand the mission to remove dictator Moammar Gaddafi from power. …

“I’m glad we’re finally doing something,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said on “Fox News Sunday.” “I don’t know how many people have died as we wait to do something, and I thank God for strong women in the Obama administration. I don’t know what finally got the president to act. But I’ve very worried that we’re taking a back seat rather than a leadership role.”

Obama “waited too long, there is no doubt in my mind about it,” Senate Armed Services ranking member John McCain said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “But now, it is what it is. And we need, now, to support him and the efforts that our military are going to make. And I regret that it didn’t — we didn’t act much more quickly, and we could have.”

OK. So Lindsey Graham and John McCain are saying Obama didn’t act quickly enough to end the reign of a murderous dictator. Well, I’m sure if either of them had gotten within a hundred yards of Gaddafi, they would have made the ultimate sacrifice and taken him out themselves.

No one would accuse them of doing anything that would appease the madman. Like this, for instance:

I’m guessing most of us don’t speak Arabic. But those folks in the clip, shaking Gaddafi’s hand two years ago, on Aug. 14, 2009, are Republican senators Susan Collins, Joe Lieberman and … wait for it … Lindsey Graham and John McCain.

Well, that doesn’t mean anything, I’m sure they were laying down the law and telling Gaddafi that if he got out of line, America would snuff him like a bug. Here’s a USA Today report on the tongue lashing:

A delegation of U.S. senators led by John McCain met with Libya’s leader Friday to discuss the possible delivery of non-lethal defense equipment.

The visit and Washington’s offer of military equipment was another sign of the improving ties between the former longtime adversaries.

“We discussed the possibility of moving ahead with the provision of non-lethal defense equipment to the government of Libya,” McCain said at a news conference. He gave no details on the kind of military equipment Washington is offering.

Non-lethal military equipment? Isn’t that an oxymoron?

But back to the point. Words escape me on McCain and Graham. No, scratch that. Here are the words: “They are without honor.”

Because he thinks we’re incapable of doing a Google search

John McCain, former presidential candidate and perpetual Fox News guest, was on his favorite network the other day comparing Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi to Hitler.

One year ago (from Politics Daily via Washington Monthly) here’s what he said about Libya’s Hitler:

Sen. John McCain, visiting Libya this past week, praised Muammar Gaddafi for his peacemaking efforts in Africa. In addition, McCain called for the U.S. Congress to expand ties with Gaddafi’s government, according to Libya’s state news agency.

McCain had a face-to-face meeting with Gaddafi, which he detailed on his Twitter page with the following message:
Late evening with Col. Qadhafi at his “ranch” in Libya — interesting meeting with an interesting man.

Another military intervention

Muammar Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi (in Dimashq, Syr...

Moammar Gaddafi (Image via Wikipedia)

The West is now at war with Libya, specifically with Madman Moammar’s government. Something about saving people from human rights violations. The French are leading the way.

It’s obvious that Gaddafi (or however you spell it) is a bad guy. Those of us who are old enough know that the Libyan dictator was the Osama bin Laden of the Ronald Reagan presidency. I’ll always remember back in 1986 when the New York Post pulled off its “Gaddafi Goes Daffy” front page pointing to the story with:

The headline: MADMAN MOAMMAR NOW A DRUGGIE DRAG QUEEN. The picture: Gaddafi wearing lipstick, mascara, eyeliner, hoop earrings and a permed, spit-curled, middle-aged woman’s hair style.

It was the perfect piece of libel, because what was Gaddafi going to do about it? Sue?

Everyone saw this week how Gaddafi called for an immediate cease-fire after the U.N. Security Council passed a resolution saying that if he didn’t stop killing his own people, the West was going to step in. And after he called the cease-fire, he proceeded to bomb the hell out of rebels in the eastern part of Libya.

Gaddafi is the kind of guy who will order his thugs to beat up your kid in front of you and at the same time look you right in the face and ask “why is your child so upset?”

He’s a sociopath, and anything bad that happens to him is deserved.

But …

Why is the West really there?

There have been human rights abuses in Somalia, and nothing happened. There was genocide in Rwanda, and it was ignored until it was too late. Serbs were committing all kinds of atrocities in Bosnia, and European powers didn’t respond. Zimbabwe is a basket case in all areas, including human rights, but if there’s been a U.N. call for action, the world has pretty much ignored it.

Let’s see, what other countries would get an outpouring of Western support for military action if the world decided blatant human rights abuses were being committed by their leaders or by outsiders? Might they be: Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela?

Well, we are in Iraq. We have been in Kuwait. We hear the drumbeat to go into Iran. And the Libyan action began today.

I wonder what they have in common … besides disrespecting human rights?