Monday, 24 October 2011

Gaddafi: May he Never Rest in Peace!

In 1969, two entirely unrelated events occurred, linked only by the fact they involved men of violence. One was based on the life of a man who had made history more than half a century earlier; the other on the life of a man who would start making history for almost the same amount of time. But how both reacted in meeting with a violent end provides an interesting contrast.   
The movie “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” was released that year. It was based on the true story of notorious US train and bank robber, Robert LeRoy Parker (aka Butch Cassidy), who, along with his sidekick, after a relentless pursuit by a determined posse, left the US to continue their trade in South America. In 1907, they ended up in Bolivia where, in the final scene of the Oscar-winning movie, Cassidy and his partner in crime are cornered by the army. Weapons reloaded, they charge out into the open with guns blazing. Although Hollywood scripted, legend indicates the two fearlessly met their end.
In a bloodless 1969 coup, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi seized power in Libya, beginning what would be a 42 year, brutal reign. He established a police state and security apparatus composed of about twenty percent of the population. Fear was a weapon in his arsenal to be used against his people to maintain control. He made dissent illegal; he placed bounties on Libyan critics abroad. He authorized assassinations against critics and terrorist attacks against foreigners anywhere in the world. He ceremoniously presided over putting Islamist fundamentalists to death. The United Nations declared Libya a “pariah state.”
But, as with all brutal leaders who do not hesitate to act without fear when the lives of others are involved, the reality of their own imminent death provides them with a different perspective about the value of human life. There is a sense of satisfaction in seeing how the fear they triggered within the eyes of so many victims finally is seen within their own.
As Libyan rebels closed in on Gaddafi’s final stronghold in his hometown of Sirte, a strategically located coastal city located about 280 miles east of Tripoli, the Libyan leader did not exit life by mirroring Butch Cassidy’s demise. 
Sensing safety in numbers, Gaddafi attempted to escape from his compound in an 80 vehicle convoy. But such a large convoy immediately drew the wandering “eye” of a US UAV, flying quietly overhead. It, along with French war planes, took the convoy under fire, forcing several vehicles to turn back.
There is uncertainty as to what occurred next as varying accounts have been published. But with the convoy under attack, it appears Gaddafi abandoned his vehicle, seeking safety in a sewer pipe. The rebels engaged the remnants of the convoy and located him cowering amongst the pipe’s stench and filth. As was Iraq’sSaddam Hussein when he was found, Gaddafi was armed with a pistol. However, just as Saddam had vowed to fight to the death but failed to do so, so too did Gaddafi. (Ironically, it took just as long for Gaddafi to be “flushed” out of hiding once the revolution started in Libya as it took to find Saddam in his spider hole sanctuary after the US invasion.) Frozen in fear, Gaddafi never attempted to even draw his weapon. Rather than flee like Tunisia’s president or resign as did Egypt’s when their people rose up against them, Gaddafi—so blinded by power he believed he could prevail against the will of his people—chose to let his supporters fight to their death on his behalf. It was a decision that would cost him his own life.
As if oblivious to reality, upon being captured, Gaddafi inquired, “What do you want?” Then as reality set in, he said, “Don’t kill me, my sons.” Perhaps he thought the $200 billion in assets he had squirreled away over 42 years provided him with the wherewithal to negotiate for his life. But it was too late to ask any questions of a people he had ruthlessly ruled for four decades without concerns for their wants or needs. 
Several cell phones recorded Gaddafi’s capture but left the sequencing of events unclear. At one point, having been punched, kicked and beaten, Gaddafi pleads, “Have pity! Don’t hit me!” A rebel responds sarcastically, “Now you know pity!” But a bloodied Gaddafi is spit upon and, at another point, is seen falling to his knees. At some point, he is placed on the hood of a truck and paraded around for all to see. In a gesture of contempt for the Libyan leader, a rebel—sitting on top the truck’s roof—defiantly clamps his foot down upon Gaddafi’s thigh. 
Another video shows the truck stopped with Gaddafi unceremoniously thrown up against its grill. For perhaps the first time since 1969, a crowd gathers, not to cheer, but to jeer him. Some captors pull at his hair. Sans his hat, Gaddafi’s partial baldnesswas visible. But that revelation would be the least of his worries. Dazed, Gaddafi looks to be in disbelief as to what is happening. He is then seen being pulled away from the truck and out of the camera’s view. A single gunshot is heard—whether it was a Gaddafi kill shot or simply celebratory gunfire is uncertain. 
Some rebels had pictures taken with either a dead or half dead Gaddafi, propped up in a “Weekend at Bernie’s”-like pose. Later photos, of a shirtless Gaddafi on the ground, appear to have been taken after the fatal shot(s) were administered. For those who needed to see with their own eyes the tyrant was really dead, his body was later put on public display.  
One can imagine the fear and uncertainty a bewildered Gaddafi experienced during his last moments. For the first time in his rule, he was not controlling the fate of others—they were controlling his. The fear he had callously visited upon two generations of his people, in the end, came back to haunt him.
Various reports leave murky the details of the fatal shot(s) that finally swept the “King of Kings of Africa”—a title given Gaddafi in 2008 for having remained in powerlonger than any African king—into the dustbin of history. It was claimed he was killed in a crossfire with loyalist troops as he was being taken to an ambulance. There were claims he was wounded in the neck; another that he had been shot in the legs. A doctor who performed an autopsy says there were only two wounds—one to the chest and one to the head. His executioner undoubtedly wasted little time deliberating before administering the fatal coup de grace—acting out of eagerness to end a hated tyrant’s life rather than out of concern for Gaddafi’s suffering.
Life, for Gaddafi, ended where it began for him, in the town of Sirte. Never again will an innocent life be taken at the whim of the Libyan madman.
May he never rest in peace.
Family Security Matters Contributing Editor Lt. Colonel James G. Zumwalt, USMC (ret) is a retired Marine infantry officer who served in the Vietnam War, the US invasion of Panama and the first Gulf war.  He is the author of "Bare Feet, Iron Will--Stories from the Other Side of Vietnam's Battlefields" and frequently writes on foreign policy and defense issues.

Gaddafi is now rotting in hell with his warlord Mo, a pair of vile thugs who killed for personal gain teaching their chattel to do the same.
posted byAmerican Dad
Monday, October 24, 2011 at 09:59 AM

Reagan was right so long ago: the Mad Dog of the Middle East is finally silenced and powerless.
posted byDan E.
Monday, October 24, 2011 at 12:12 AM

Never again will an innocent life be taken at the whim of the Libyan madman, true, but they will be taken by other violent Islamists who now have made Shariah law the law of the land.
posted byCarrie N.
Monday, October 24, 2011 at 12:24 AM

I am not as thrilled as others that this madman was taken out. Prior to this current administration - this dictator was behaving himself (the past decade or so) and it seems we stirred up the bee hive and HAD to do this...That being said - I love the reference to that great movie with Newman and Redford. As with most westerns....that is a time period when men were men!
posted byAustina
Monday, October 24, 2011 at 12:42 AM

His end was very fitting. You live by the sword, you die by the sword.
posted byCountryBoy
Monday, October 24, 2011 at 01:04 PM

Great article from perspective of a former military man.
posted byrose
Monday, October 24, 2011 at 01:12 PM

Sadly, the worse article I have ever read from a Marine Office. I agree with Austina. A little reflection: Was Libya a threat to U.S.national security or did the Obama Administration have something else in mind? One thing is for certain, the Mahgreb has been surrendered....

The Cost:

VP Biden stated that the U.S. "spent $2 billion total and didn't lose a single life." According to its website, NATO accounted for Libya operations have totaled about $7.4 million per month for electronic warfare capabilities and $1.1 million per month for headquarters and command staff. The Congressional Research Services estimate the Afghanistan war has cost nearly $500 billion so far. With Iraq, the figure may have halved that limit. 

In the first week of Libya operations, bombs were dropped from B-2 stealth planes flown from Missouri and roughly 200 missiles launched from submarines in the Mediterranean (no U.S. aircraft carriers were in the Med). Thee U.S. submarines participated and their respective patrol areas were needlessly compromised as they fired their tomahawks. After the U.S. military ramped up the operation, other NATO countries shouldered most of the air burden; with U.S. taxpayer gracious support. Americans took a supporting role: aerial refueling tankers, electronic jamming, and surveillance. "Without putting a single U.S. service member on the ground, we achieved our objectives and our NATO mission will soon come to an end," Obama said.

The Action:

1. NATO aircraft, including those supplied by the U.S., totaled 26,089 sorties and 9,618 strike sorties.
2. More than 70 U.S. aircraft have supported the operation, including Predator drones.
3. NATO flew 67 sorties and 16 strikes sorties over Libya one day before Qaddafi was killed.
4. NATO mission also employed submarines, aircraft carriers, amphibious assault ships, destroyers, frigates, and supply ships—as many as 21 vessels at one time.
5. U.S. had sold participating countries in the operation roughly $250 million in ammunition, parts, fuel, technical assistance, and other support, according to the Pentagon.

The Task:

Since March 24, an "unprecedented" coalition of NATO Allies and non-NATO contributors having been "protecting civilians under threat of attack" in Libya, enforcing an arms embargo and maintaining a no-fly zone. NATO Secretary General Rasmussen explained, under ''Operation Unified Protector,'' NATO is doing ''nothing more, nothing less'' than meeting its mandates under United Nations Security Council resolutions. No NATO ground troops have participated in the operation – NATO’s success to date has been achieved solely with air and sea assets and a lot of our money. 

U.S. and NATO officials steadily maintained their mission was never to hunt, capture or kill the Libyan leader. The mission, they said, was to enforce the arms embargo, establish and hold a no-fly zone, and take actions to protect civilians from attack or the threat of attack. That apparently changed in the end when NATO lost control of its Islamic allies and Arabs did what they do best - not take any prisoners. That last directive seemed to give plenty of reason to target Libya's top commander. But Pentagon officials said for months that if Qaddafi should happen to be at one of those locations when NATO missiles strike, so be it. I was reading in a paper that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shared a laugh with a television news reporter moments after hearing deposed Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi had been killed. "We came, we saw, he died," she joked when told of news reports of Qaddafi's death by an aide in between formal interviews. What a man.....

At the end:

Eight months and some 7,725 air sorties and 1,845 strike sorties, 397 of which dropped ordnance, and 145 Predator drone strikes later, it was over. Still no American aircraft carrier is positioned in the Mediterranean. Also, if you would remember, the U.S. Navy did not even support U.S. citizen evacuation from the troubled area before the start of operations.

The Maghreb has finally been turned over to the Sunnis and we have no idea who's effectively in charge. Before the "Arab Spring," encouraged by the U.S. State Department (well-documented), military and political leaders found the moderate leaders in the Maghreb predictable. Now what? The Administration has completed its own sortie in the Magheb. The Levant is next. It may be that Yemen is next on the agenda as our government is conducting diversionary moves aimed at Pakistan, Iran, and Syria. The end-game seems to be priming the Arab world in one last conflict with Israel.
posted byTom - Career Military
Monday, October 24, 2011 at 01:19 PM

Cowards almost always die the way Gaddafi died. Begging for mercy or his life or whatever it was. But he was begging. There is an exception. At least Saddam Hussein died with a deadpan face and he did not beg.
posted byGeorge H.
Monday, October 24, 2011 at 01:57 PM

Gaddafi was gotten out of the way for the Muslim Brotherhood to take over and Obama was right in the midst of this. Obama and the Brotherhood are "tight".
Gaddafi had seen the light and was being a friend to Israel and others....
posted bySue B
Monday, October 24, 2011 at 02:06 PM

Some guy admitted to shooting Qadaffi in the head twice. Sounds like an execution to me.
posted byTony P.
Monday, October 24, 2011 at 02:09 PM

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