Tag Archives: war

Somebody’s Got to Say It: Where Is the Sanctity of Gaddafi’s Body?

I never met him during his lifetime and although I consider myself neither friend nor foe of the man, I find the manner of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s death quite crude and the subsequent handling of his corpse inexplicably inhumane. While I truly believe that those who live by the gun will ultimately die by gun, I also think it is morally wrong to take delight from the demise of a fellow human being.

Understandably, to an extent, all is fair in love and war. But the one million dollar question is this: did Colonel Gaddafi have to die such a brutal death? Given that the odds were heavily stacked against him in the last couple of months, why didn’t he broker a face-saving retreat deal with the necessary stakeholders and then relinquish power?  Many African and Arab counties would have given him and his family political asylum. The fact that he was also a wealthy man would have facilitated things in this regard. But of course, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Dictators, by their very nature tend to work on a flawed sense of perpetual invincibility, forgetting that nothing lasts forever.  We understand from history that more often than not, tyrants lose focus and then gradually become far removed from reality.  Eventually they meet a violent end. Such was the fate of Saddam Hussein of Iraq, Sanni Abacha of Nigeria and Idi Amin of Uganda.

Following the pretty gruesome video clips of Colonel Gaddafi’s last moments aired on the various global news networks, there have been calls for an inquiry into the events leading up to Colonel Gaddafi’s death. While these scenes were quite disturbing,  in the grand scheme of recent events in Libya, it is doubtful whether any meaningful benefit would emerge from such an inquiry.

As a mere mortal myself, my main gripe is with the way Colonel Gaddafi’s corpse has been handled by the Libyan authorities. The  main world religions accept that the physical body of a deceased should be handled with dignity and utmost care. Placing Colonel Gaddafi’s corpse in a commercial freezer, with very little to shield his dignity, and allowing Libyan men to view his body and take pictures on their mobile phones is highly inappropriate and in bad taste.  Evidently, there is  no preservation of the sanctity of Colonel Gaddafi’s body. Surely, this runs afoul of the Geneva Convention on the treatment of prisoners of war.

The Libyan authorities should realise that whatever his crimes during his lifetime, Colonel Gaddafi is no more. His account on earth is now closed and he will answer to his creator for his deeds on earth. That the Libyan authorities chose rather to violate the sanctity of the dead, as an act of revenge, is most sad and inexplicably inhumane.  Even if all the reports of Colonel Gaddafi’s alleged crimes against humanity are true, that still doesn’t justify the Libyan authorities inhumane handling of his body.

In the words of Lady Macbeth, what’s done cannot be undone. Colonel Gaddafi’s life has come full circle.  The fine detail of his deeds on earth will now be relegated to the annals of history.  It is ironic that the young army officer, who led a bloodless Libyan revolution 42 years ago, has now died a brutal death in a bloody revolution.  The circumstances surrounding Colonel Gaddafi’s death are somewhat tragic and many will argue that he brought it upon himself.  But that is a discussions for another day. My bone of contention today is the sanctity of  Colonel Gaddafi’s lifeless body.

I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. – ( Martin Luther King Jnr)


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The Thrills of Facebook

I don’t particularly think that Facebook is the best thing since sliced bread, although I do think it has its uses. It certainly is a good platform for reconnecting with long-lost friends, meeting people with whom one shares a common interest and general cyberspace mingling.  As we know, all types are represented on Facebook. There are the political aspirants, social commentators, hawkers, real celebrities, wannabe celebrities, sport pundits, political critics, cyberspace revolutionaries, jokers, hogwash peddlers, music video jockeys, propagandist and downright show-offs.

Although I wouldn’t consider myself a Facebook addict, like most people, I check in with Facebook on a daily basis mainly for the ‘feel-good’ element. Reading the updates of the political critics, cyberspace revolutionaries and hogwash peddlers can be highly amusing sometimes.

For what it is worth, I have recently been initiated into the Facebook ‘poke’ world. Approximately three weeks ago, an unknown friend of a Facebook friend poked me on Facebook. Not knowing what else to do, I simply poked back. The instigator poked back and ever since we have gotten into an intense poke war.

To some people a poke war is harmless fun, flirting or even Facebook sex. But when you really think about it, a poke war really is infantile. It’s a bit like two pre-school kids having a ‘my mummy is bigger than your mummy’ fight. There is no tangible end game, but yet, no one wants to back down first.

Some Facebook buffs claim to been engaged in poke wars that have gone on for years.  But seriously, isn’t that taking things a bit too far? Where is the excitement in a protracted, albeit, virtual war? Real life drawn-out wars like Afghanistan and Libya are bad enough.

Anyway, being in one poke war already, I thought I might start similar virtual wars with President Obama, Martha Stewart, Oprah Winfrey and Donald Trump – on Facebook of course.  I soon found out that these media savvy personalities had disabled the relevant poke application. Too bad.

I am sure a real life poke war between President Obama and Donald Trump would have real entertainment value. Colonel Gaddafi versus President Obama would definitely be a classic.

If you fancy instigating a poke war check out the official rules and then get poking.  All work and no play …………….

The thrills of Facebook.

Why Is David Cameron Trying Too Hard to Impress ?

In another life and under somewhat different circumstances I probably would like David Cameron. After all, he is good-looking, educated and articulate. But as it stands, there is something rather puzzling about him, and consequentially, I don’t fancy him politically. In my estimate, he just seems to be trying too hard to impress, but the question is who? Could it be other world leaders or even the British public?

Well, if we consider the fact that Cameron never really got a convincing mandate from the British populace at the last general election, maybe we would understand his need to constantly impress and therefore, won’t so much as hold it against him.

When Cameron first took up office, like other Conservative party leaders before him, he set out to shake off the “Thatcherite” shackles and prove that he is very much his own man. One such instance, that springs readily to mind, occurred during Cameron’s  trip to South Africa, where he openly expressed regret at his party’s foreign policy on apartheid under Margaret Thatcher.

I think Cameron is a bit unlucky in that not only does he feel he has to prove that he is not “Thatcher’s boy,” but he also feels the need to impress to make up for his inability to convincingly win the 2008 election.

Okay, Cameron became prime minister at a time when it may not have been a fashionable job. Although he blamed the state of the UK economy on the recklessness of the last Labour government, but surely he is smart enough to understand that the world at large was in a financial meltdown at the time – and still is – not just Britain. And better still, Britain did not cause the global financial crisis, the US banking crisis did.

Fast-forward to the crisis in the Middle East and we have new-kid-on-the-block, Cameron, strutting around making grand remarks about containing Colonel Muammar Gaddafi and protecting the ordinary Libyan civilians. You almost get the impression that not only is Cameron ready to personally wrestle Gaddafi to the ground before the enforcement of UN resolution 1973, but that he also fancies himself as a wartime leader, possibly following in the footsteps of the great wartime UK prime minister, Winston Churchill.

Now, I really must touch upon Cameron’s doomed tour of the Middle East earlier on in the crisis. What on earth did he think he was doing with a handful of arms dealers in tow? Could we put this faux pas down to inexperience or is it just another instance of Cameron trying too hard to impress? Is that how other arms-producing countries peddle arms? I guess the real bone of contention here is the sheer hypocrisy of selling arms to regimes that one later criticises for attacking their own citizens.

So while Cameron is busy flexing his muscles and milking the occasion for what it is worth, we Brits find ourselves in a war – officially tagged a conflict – which we could really do without. How we are going to fund this war of questionable objects is clear to all: further excruciating public spending cuts and a couple more pre-election policy U-turns.

Cameron must be feeling self-important following his recent hosting of the London talks on Libya and the defection of Libya’s former foreign minister, Moussa Koussa, to the UK. There also is the £650m educational aid he promised to the Pakistani’s during a recent visit to Pakistan. I wonder what strings are attached to this economic aid as it is hard to believe that this is a purely philanthropic gesture.

But let’s wait and see how this eventually pans out for Cameron. On the crisis in the Middle East, he has promised that Libya won’t be another Iraq, and that there will be no deals with Moussa Koussa. Strangely enough, so far, Libya has all the hallmarks of Iraq, with regime change being the notable end game.

Time will tell whether Britain’s involvement in the shifty venture in Libya makes or breaks Cameron’s premiership. Given the manner by which he landed in No.10, some may argue that he has no other option but to project himself in this way, to endear himself to the doubting Thomases among us. I wonder what other world leaders think of his recent escapades?  Maybe the end will justify the means. After all, the vulture is a patient bird.

In the interim, maybe Cameron will care to ponder on the following quote of former Philippines president, Corazon Aquino:

“I’ve reached a point in life where it’s no longer necessary to try to impress. If they like me the way I am, that’s good. If they don’t, that’s too bad.”

Gaddafi Is A ‘Living Political Corpse’

These are heady times for Colonel Gaddafi and for humanity at large. It is  now insignificant whether outside influence is responsible for the uprising in Libya. The main bone of contention at the moment is that Libyans have had enough of Colonel Gaddafi’s 42-year rule and want him to go.

Colonel Gaddafi, for his part, remains defiant in his decision to fight to the death. Just because Colonel Gaddafi is locked in his position at the moment, does not mean he won’t back-track in days to come. After all, this happens a lot in politics, and who said a man cannot change his mind, especially when he finds himself between a rock and a very hard place?

If Colonel Gaddafi truly believes that if he dies in the uprising he will attain martyrdom, then he does not understand the virtues of martyrdom. Fighting for self-aggrandisement and political survival is not what martyrdom is about in any religion. Moreover, the fact that he publicly announced this preposterous wish is an insult to all true martyrs of all religions.

The US and UK, on the other hand, are oil hustlers and opportunistic good Samaritans. With the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, it is difficult to believe that the US and UK concerns for the plight of the Libyans are genuine.  The  bottom line is that the US and UK are attracted to Libya’s oil like vultures are attracted to the carcasses of dead animals.

It does baffle me though, that all of a sudden UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, is saying  “It is not acceptable to have a situation where Colonel Gaddafi can murder his own people ……..”  Didn’t his predecessor, Tony Blair, say something similar about Saddam Hussein just before the commencement of the second Iraq war?  What shape is  Iraq in today? Does anyone really think that Iraq is better off now than when under Saddam? Agreed Saddam was Pharaoh-like, but the US and UK are no Moses. They are fake messiahs.

If Colonel Gaddafi loves Libya as he claims, he should step down and go into exile before US and UK tankers roll into Libya.  Libya under western occupation is not a viable option for Libyans, the Middle East and world peace. The sooner Colonel Gaddafi and his sons quit daydreaming and accept the reality of what is happening around them, the better for us all.

Both the Arab League and the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) should get their acts together with immediate effect. I think it is shameful that things are happening on their door-steps and they are conspicuously silent. The Arab League and OAU really need to take things by the scruff of the neck to stop these oil-thirsty vampires in their wake.

I couldn’t agree more with the Kremlin’s recent remark about Colonel Gaddafi being a “living political corpse.” What a brain-teaser for the vultures hovering above Colonel Gaddafi.

In oil we trust !