Summary Execution Is Not A Joke. Hillary Clinton Should Resign.

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.

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9 Comments

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9 responses to “Summary Execution Is Not A Joke. Hillary Clinton Should Resign.

  1. bluebird

    Hmmm. This is tough one. Primitive behavior was expected given how long Qaddafi held out since the protests began. He was a brutal dictator and tortured and killed his people with as little compassion as those that tortured and killed him after his capture. It seemed given some early reports that he was pretty out of it when they dragged him out that sewage pipe. He made some incoherent statements. He begged like a lot of those he hung. He’s lucky his death was quicker than those he killed. He’s lucky that he was pretty out of it.

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  2. bluebird

    As for Hillary, she sounded like a hysterical school girl. Very unexpected. It could be nervousness that made her act like that. Incidentally, she is supporting a full investigation into Q’s death as of yesterday.

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    • Hi.

      Erupting with a variant on Caesar’s “veni, vidi vici” is not the reaction of a school girl.

      Ghadaffi (Qadaffi?) was no prince, of course. Perhaps he deserved execution. I don’t know how he stacks up against the many psychopaths who seize power in this place or that.

      What I do know is that there are rules, even in war. You don’t kill people who are captured and not resisting. You don’t machine gun the survivors in the water from a sunken vessel. You don’t kill people who are offering to surrender. And if it happens anyway, you don’t laugh it off. Certainly the senior diplomat of the US government shouldn’t.

      Standards of civilized conduct are fragile in war. It’s incredibly important to hold the line. A lot depends on it.

      Good that Clinton has gotten more serious. She still needs to apologize. It was shameful.

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  3. bluebird

    I agree with you on HC. I do agree there are rules even in a war- except in the middle East. I’m do not think the Qaddafi liberators had any intention of playing by rules in a fight to overthrow a dictorial regime. Qaddafi was going to die, brutally. He killed a lot of people who opposed him. Public hangings. He was a brute and he’d pissed a lot of people off and hurt a lot of people. People believe in an eye for eye – especially in these islamic regions of the world. There is no room for pacifists in these countries.

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  4. Good piece. I agree.
    There is something very sick about Hillary. She seems almost sociopathic to me. Certainly self serving. Always has.

    I think Muammar died appropriately. He was a horrible human being responsible for the execution of thousands. Violent dictators all seem to go the way of Mussolini. I don’t worry about how that all sorts out, I figure that is some higher powers job. But I do believe in the rule of law and that the shooter here- sees a courtroom.

    Hillary’s inappropriate response seems really appropriate to me. I expect that type of behavior from her. I have never thought she was the right person for that job- given to her by her adversary and close friend. She was given that job under the most suspicious of circumstances which I have come to believe was simply a ploy and a ruse. Washington is a very sick place.

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  5. Mike

    The famous Vietnam photo was taken by an American, Eddie Adams — not a Vietnamese. He won a Pulitzer for it.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eddie_Adams_%28photographer%29

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    • Corrected. Thanks. Don’t know why I thought that. Sorry about the delay too, but including a link gets you sent to my spam folder until I get around to looking.

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  6. Korg

    If you abuse the people you rule, they will eventually overthrow you, and tear you to shreds. This is the common people’s reaction to abuse, and it has happened before, to Mussolini, Nicolae Ceausescu, Hussein; even Stalin was gleefully poisoned by his ministers. What happened to Quadaffi is exactly what Hitler knew would happen to him in Berlin, and it is the reason he shot himself.

    What happened to Quadaffi was a good thing. I only wish he had suffered more, or that more of the Libyan citizenry could have been involved in his torture and death. The reason his killing makes you uncomfortable is that you are an authoritarian, and you imbue political leaders with a higher personal worth, as if they should be protected from the wrath of their own people. They have no higher worth than anyone else. If they are tyrants, they will be tortured and killed. Cause, effect. Any leader who abuses his or her people as Quadaffi did will be tortured and killed by the very people they abused. A clear warning has been given. It will happen again soon to another tyrant, and I will giggle myself to sleep at the thought of their suffering.

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