By Sumayyah Meehan, TMO
There is a fine line that separates man from mere beast. This week that line was crossed by the armed rebels on the hunt for deposed Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi as they stumbled upon him held up in a storm drain in his hometown of Sirte. The events surrounding his death are as rough as the various video footage of his demise. Each video, shot from different cell phones, tells its own story. Some show Gadhafi being shot in the arm while others show him being beaten. Yet another shows him being dragged across the ground, his clothes in disarray, after he was apparently sodomized. And the most notable reveals a gunshot wound to his head.
The question is not whether or not Gadhafi deserved to pay for his vast array crimes that stretched clear around the globe for decades. The answer is very clear in that regard, Gadhafi indeed deserved to be punished for his reign of terror. The question that begs to be answered is whether or not armed militia had the right to take matters into their own hands denying one of the worldâ€™s worst dictators the very basic of human rights, a trial in a court of law. Now many will argue that Gadhafi was not human in the way that he treated his own people with disdain and disregard for the sanctity of human life. In all respects Gadhafi was the judge, jury and executioner in Libya. However, hasnâ€™t the very premise that made the â€˜Arab Springâ€™ so inspirational to the world been forever tainted in a gushing of crimson blood?
It only got worse as Libyans danced in the streets with joy upon hearing of Gadhafiâ€™s wholesale execution as scores followed his bloodied body to a nearby shopping mall where it was put on display. Men, women and children lined up and waited to catch a glimpse of Gadhafiâ€™s gruesome corpse while taking even more cell phone video footage to share with the rest of the world.
Instead of stooping to Gadhafiâ€™s merciless level, it might have been better to have hauled him off, alive, to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to stand trial for his crimes against humanity. A great number of Gadhafiâ€™s victims would have been given the opportunity to speak out against the dictator who dogged them for years and humiliate him in an international arena. Gadhafi was all about appearances and it would have caused him greater suffering to be publicly disgraced than merely shot in the head. Gadhafi meticulously tortured and enslaved his people without even showing the slightest bit of remorse. How fitting it would have been to see him stripped of all his self-given powers and forced to spend his remaining days confined to a minuscule jail cell. And while Gadhafiâ€™s suffering was over in a mere matter of minutes, the people whose lives he scarred have a long road of healing to undertake.