A few days ago a mate of mine put his facebook status as:
“This might not be popular of me, but I think Gaddafi (evil though he was) should have got a fair trial rather than just beaten to death…”
it had a fair amount of likes and a number of comments, most in agreement, including one saying that it would have given some answers regarding Lockerbie, the IRA etc. I was going to comment but seemed to be going against the flow of everyone else.
Whilst I agree with the sentiment I really struggle to see what a trial, fair or otherwise, would achieve for either Gaddafi or the Libyan people. I sincerely doubt that any answers about Lockerbie or the IRA would have been forthcoming. Found in a drain, allegedly offering gold in order to be let go, the Mad Dog was hardly offering to come quietly, contrite and ready to renounce all he had done in his time at the top.
To me, any answers that Gaddafi did provide should have been first and foremost for the Libyan people, who had suffered under his regime.
What I struggled with though was the images of him splashed all over the news websites and internet. The Guardian in particular showed the pictures in their blog as they came in, with an apology underneath, after you had already taken in his bloody face, that it was a pretty gruesome picture.. From what I understand having pictures of corpses is more commonplace in non-western press, but for me I still couldn’t quite get used to looking at what was quite probably a corpse, to the point where I just stopped reading the updates. It didn’t help that although no one could confim if he was alive or not, they could tell us that he had a golden pistol.
So, while I think he should have been called to account for his crimes, he died in the manner in which he lived, and I would be interested to know how many people who commented on that facebook status would still feel the same compassion had they lived under his rule for 40 years.