Friday, October 28, 2011

"Off with their heads!" (New York Times op-ed/Qaddafi version)

Historian Simon Bebag Montefiore has an op-ed gushing over the edifying spectacle of disposing of dictators by lynch-murder in the respectable Gray Lady, the New York Times, Dictators Get the Deaths They Deserve 10/26/2011. His flimsy justification:

The problem with such dictatorships is that as long as the tyrant lives, he reigns and terrorizes. As Churchill put it, "dictators ride to and fro upon tigers from which they dare not dismount."

Only death can end both the spell to bewitch and the prerogative to dominate - and sometimes, not even death can snuff out power. "The terror inspired by Caligula’s reign," wrote Suetonius, "could be judged by the sequel." Romans were so terrified of the emperor that it was not enough to assassinate him. They wanted to see him dead: fearing it was a trick and lacking cellphone footage, they had to be convinced. The mile-long line of Libyans who were keen to see Colonel Qaddafi'’s cadaver in its shop-refrigerator-tomb would understand this perfectly.
If what one wants is to strenthen the rule of law, as opposed to providing opportunities for the voyeurism that has always drawn eager crowds to public executions, the approach Argentina has taken toward officials who committed gruesome crimes during El Proceso, the military dictatorship of 1976-83, works much better. They give them the kind of fair trials they denied their victims. And if they are convicted in a court of law that produces sufficient evidence of their crimes, they are sent to prison. For a very recent example, see Argentina's "Angel of Death" sent to prison CBS News 10/26/2011. Here's a report on the case from Euronews (YouTube date 10/27/2011):

Glenn Greenwald has some useful thoughts about the corrosive effects of disposing of our Bad Enemies through summary execution in A remaining realm of American excellence Salon 10/22/2011.

Simon Montefiore obviously prefers the spectacle of lynch-mob justice.

I prefer to see the Argentines in the Euronews video above cheering for justice being done under the rule of law.

I hope one day that we also see those American officials responsible for torture crimes and illegal assassinations face justice in US courts.

Tags: , , ,

| +Save/Share | |

Links to this post:

Create a Link


"It is the logic of our times
No subject for immortal verse
That we who lived by honest dreams
Defend the bad against the worse."

-- Cecil Day-Lewis from Where Are The War Poets?


  • What is the Blue Voice?
  • Bruce Miller
  • Fdtate
  • Marcia Ellen (on hiatus)
  • Marigolds2
  • Neil
  • Tankwoman
  • Wonky Muse


  • Documentary on the Koch brothers' political networ...
  • Oakland police honor (?!) Iraq War veteran at Occu...
  • John Danforth says libruls shouldn't look at Repub...
  • Krugman on the Republicans' all-over-the-map attac...
  • Derivatives and bonds and crashes, oh my (European...
  • The end of "Europe" (the European Union) continues...
  • Our glorious (?!) victory in Libya
  • Leaving Libya?
  • Leaving Iraq
  • Qaddafi's death and the Libya War



    [Tip: Point cursor to any comment to see title of post being discussed.]
    www TBV




    Environmental Links
    Gay/Lesbian Links
    News & Media Links
    Organization Links
    Political Links
    Religious Links
    Watchdog Links



    Atom/XML Feed
    Blogarama - Blog Directory
    Blogwise - blog directory



    hits since 06-13-2005

    site design: wonky muse