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.
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.