The relief round the globe at the death of Gaddafi is understandable, as is the vindictiveness of those who caught and executed him. But it’s hard to feel much satisfaction at the way things ended, if the reports of his killers kicking and stamping on the corpse are true (BBC Radio 4, ‘The World Tonight’, 20/10/11). Evil tyrant he certainly was, but the bloodied corpose was that of a human being and a child of God/Allah. One would feel more hopeful about the future of Libya if those who overthrew Gaddafi had shown an awareness of this, or had considered putting him on trial.
‘The evil that men do lives after them’. Gaddafi’s legacy is a country with no tradition of the rule of law, and with a tribal political culture. But the governments of the West have been complicit in creating this situation, supporting or at least condoning Gaddafi’s repressive regime when it suited their interests. It’s hard to be confident that they will now offer disinterested support to the creation of a new political order, free from manipulation by international financial institutions.