At this point, do I even need the “I don’t like to proofread,”/”Sorry if this makes no sense, ranting just feels awesome,” disclaimer?
What does justice for a dictator mean? For a man single-handily responsible for the deaths of thousands over 42 years of unyielding, unmerciful repression?
Is justice not inevitably contingent upon the crimes one commits? What is the purpose of a trial but to give the accused the opportunity to defend himself, for his victims to present evidence against him, for him to be tried by his peers? Is this process - the pursuit of a ‘just’ end to an unjust man - not equivalent to the eight month spectacle this lunatic entertainer has paraded before the entire world? Did he not continue to testify before an international audience until moments before his cathartic demise, suffocating the sieged city of Sirte with his propaganda as he secretly, cowardly shuffled from house to house?
Why is it that the death of a dictator is the death of a revolution? Has Gaddafi succeeded in convincing the casual observer as well as the ‘intellectual’ that he defines Libya? Why, even in his death, do the journalists, the pundits, and most shamefully, the Arab diaspora and the self-proclaimed Arab/Muslim intelligentsia, prioritize Gaddafi over any other person or any other event in Libya? Why should Gaddafi, in death, embody Libya’s future? Was not the purpose of the revolution to liberate Libya’s future from Gaddafi’s hold? So who truly failed this revolution - the thuwarr, who put an end to the psychological and physical misery of a nation, or the Arab/Muslim intellectuals, whose moralistic outrage at Gaddafi’s death shadowed any contempt for the dictator’s own crimes? Where is the outcry for “justice” against the ex-Gaddafi regime officials living freely in Jordan and Qatar? Why aren’t their victims worth the admittedly shitty carbon-copy articles pumped out in response to Gaddafi’s death?
Is this oversight - this hypocrisy - per chance connected to the general leftist-disaporic Arab opposition to the intervention in Libya? Let’s be real. “They” didn’t curse the revolution when Gaddafi died. They decried the revolution when Libyans dared call upon ‘Western forces’ for aid - the only forces willing and able to protect civilians, no matter their intentions - when they dared take responsibility for their fate and accept the consequences that foreign intervention inevitably carries with it. How dare they think themselves capable enough to ward off the opportunists? The ‘neocolonialists’? Ah is it because, before the revolution, Libyans never possessed the ability to defend themselves against foreign interests? Ah Ah Ah but now that Libyans have wrenched power from their own government, such self-determination does enter the realm of possibility!
Oh but if self-interest, determination, and true agency means intervention…oh damn reality and the limitations it sets on my wholly theoretical, divorced-from-the-realities-of-war world view and the predictably ambiguous commentary it produces!
Ah, and God forbid we disrupt our neocolonialist-faux-revolution narrative by acknowledging the greater justice exercised under the banner of the revolution. The care given to prisoners, as video dating back from the first couple months of the thowra demonstrate - yes, before a “national rebel entity” could even be patched together from the imaginations of careless journalists to systematically enforce the humane treatment pro-Gaddafi fighters (the ones that actually were guided by a centralized, sanctioned policies) never practiced in turn - the amnesty, oh and this is the BIG one - the June trial given to Gaddafi in absentia. Still not good enough? Oh wait oh wait oh wait, isn’t the essence your ‘anti-imperial’ agenda that we not cater to the false standards of humanity erected by the amorphous “West,” that we not subject ourselves to the judgement of those damn arrogant foreigners who will colonize your mind even if they can’t colonize your land…?
Steady, now - there’s only so much hypocrisy your blind ethical ramblings can take before they destroy the perfect dichotomy you’ve dreamed up in that cozy cafe far, far away from those icky Libyan barbarians :)