So Gaddafi was a monster.
But his end was terrifying.
About ten days ago, sitting in my log cabin in the Blue Mountains, the spine-chilling images I saw on Australian TV were shocking and disturbing.
Didn’t help that I was freezing my butt off at that time.
Flushed out of a drain in which he was hiding and armed only with a golden pistol, he was, at gunpoint, pulled by the hair and reportedly tortured, humiliated – and according to some reports, even sexually assaulted – before being killed. Indeed as Mao said, political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.
Conflicting reports exist on how he actually died – rebels said Gaddafi was caught in a cross-fire, a version many disbelieve – but it was a gory, brutal and inhumane end.
His body was then put on display.
The manner of his demise does not portend well for the rebels. Even Vladimir Putin expressed disgust.
Gaddafi’s violent and ignominious end signals either the finale of a barbaric age for Libya, which will hopefully make way for the eventual full blossoming of the so-called Arab Spring, or – like the beheading of the last king of France in Albert Camus’ account – the founding act of the coming era, which would be a horrific indication of what the future could be for the Libyan people.
Nietzsche said “Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster himself.”
Remember that smoking debate? Read it here. Lately another reader has written in, recommending that hospitals should deny surgery to those who smoke.
We should all remember Nietzsche’s words.
Those who believe that even smokers have rights too may prefer to remember Mao’s words.