Birmingham Stage Company


23 October 2011

Hasn’t the world grown to love sanctimony! It is being suggested the fighters in Libya should be prosecuted for war crimes for killing Gaddafi. Every hour that he lived, more people died. But when the ordinary civilians he was trying to kill finally and unexpectedly captured him after eight months of horrific fighting, they are supposed to show restraint and hand him over to the proper authorities. These men are not part of a professional army, they hadn’t been trained or taught the rules of warfare: they are ordinary men thrown into a battle they didn’t ask for by the actions of one tyrant: a man they finally caught up with on the streets of Sirte. And for ten minutes or so he experienced the terror and brutality he had been dispensing for forty-two years. It would have been a glorious thing to see him on trial, although like Milosevic, Hussein and now Mladic before him, no doubt giving his valedictory address, revealing nothing, regretting nothing. By contrast, in the heat of war, Gaddafi’s fate was decided not by Western powers but by the ordinary Libyans he had been desperately trying to kill just minutes before he was captured. There’s a phrase – you live by the sword, you die by the sword. The self-styled ‘King of Kings’ got off very lightly indeed.

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