by Sean Gabb
I suppose I should say something. The man was a tyrant, and probably got what he deserved. Even so, his death was made possible by British and French air power, and I don’t like what has happened. Here goes:
1. It was none of our business what the Libyan Government and people thought of each other and did to each other. We should never have got involved.
2. Collaborating in the assassination of foreign heads of state is a bad policy for accountability in our own country. Once it becomes a normal part of warfare to kill heads of government, our own politicians will withdraw behind squads of armed men in sunglasses. Fifty years ago, one of my grandmothers found herself sharing a railway carriage with the Prime Minister. Even today, I occasionally see Cabinet Ministers on the Underground. This is important for keeping a loose connection between rulers and ruled. The killing of Colonel Gaddafi puts further pressure on this relationship.
3. The obvious delight of western ruling classes at the videos of the death is distasteful. It may be their own moral degradation that made them take such delight, and allowed them to take it without worrying that we could see. It may have been relief that Colonel Gaddafi would never be brought to trial – and a question they have never felt inclined to answer is whether he became a bloddy tyrant before or after they stopped selling weapons to him.
No, I don’t like it.