Before I get into this even a little bit, I agree with Jeff Gamso about all this.
I don’t know quite what to make about OWS, and I don’t know quite what to make about the graphic images all over the place of the death of Muamar Qadaffi, if that’s even how you spell it, and maybe more importantly the reactions of people to the images.
It appears to have been something akin to a summary execution. But worse, I think. More like death from mob violence.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s reaction (caught on tape) to seeing the images was grotesque and horrifying: she channeled Julius Caesar. The US pretensions to Empire, previously eschewed, are becoming increasingly open and frank. This is not a Good Thing.
Back when the war in Vietnam was really intense, during what came to be called the “Tet Offensive“, perhaps the most famous summary execution in history was caught by a photographer named Eddie Adams.
The attitude of the world towards this Pulitzer winning image was quite different. People were shocked and disgusted. It was one of the images that turned public opinion in the US against the war.
What a difference 43 years makes.
Go back 23 years before that. It’s a common notion nowadays that the American Army carried out summary executions against German camp guards and officers after liberating concentration camps, especially Dachau, where legend has it there was a “massacre”. But read the link, it’s pretty well documented. The likelihood is this never happened. The legend appears to be a recent popular affectation.
But why? Why has summary execution gone from being rigidly taboo; to subtly promoted through falsified historical accounts; to finally becoming the subject of official jocularity?
And I’m being kind, because the death of Qadaffi was considerably worse than a summary execution, which is better illustrated by the Vietnam incident. A man is captured, handcuffed, brought to the on-scene commander who without warning or fanfare put a gun to his head and fires.
This is a terrible thing, but it does not involve taunting and torture and beating and mockery, followed by a brutal coup de grace.
This is what happened to Qadaffi.
I can’t help thinking that the official descent into barbarism is always like this: it occurs right in front of you and nobody even says anything, much less does anything.
Objecting at a time like this is important. I object. Hillary Clinton’s behavior and commentary was atrocious. If any diplomat from a disfavored nation did anything comparable we would surely expect their resignation.
Same for Hillary. She needs to apologize and resign.