Friday 17 November 2017

Philip Hensher: Gaddafi killing brought satisfaction, not justice

A Libyan girl queues, with others, to see the body of Colonel Gaddafi
A Libyan girl queues, with others, to see the body of Colonel Gaddafi

Philip Hensher

Colonel Muammar Gaddafi was accustomed to appear in public wearing enough insignia on his chest to cover a dining table. Whatever else his medals were awarded for, it wasn't bravery.

Ceausescu went to his death before a firing squad singing the 'Internationale'. Saddam Hussein died shouting, "Do you consider this bravery?" But Gaddafi seems to have died the death of a coward, found in an outflow pipe, cringing. He shouted, "Don't shoot, don't shoot" and, according to one freedom fighter, "What have I done to you?" Considering the scale of Gaddafi's crimes, the freedom fighter might very well have been able to supply a precise and specific answer to the question.

Gaddafi was beaten, and, it seems, killed with a shot to the head. The images of a bloodied Gaddafi in his last moments quickly went round the world.

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