Posts Tagged ‘Ian Huntley’

Alone in Sirte

24/10/2011, 12:35:01 PM

by Jonathan Todd

Human rights, by definition, are held by all humans. In spite of Lockerbie, Yvonne Fletcher’s murder and his tyrannical 42-year misrule of Libya, Muammar Gaddafi was human. He, therefore, deserved a fair trial in a Libyan court or in The Hague. That he would certainly have been found guilty before such a court does not detract from the belittlement, both of those denied and those who deny, inherent in denying fundamental human rights.

Justice can never come from the mob; only vengeance. No matter how understandable the desire for vengeance, it is not justice. It is wonderful that Libya now has a chance for freedom, so long prevented by Gaddafi. The West should respond with a carrots and sticks offer of support as transformative as that offered to Eastern Europe by the EU after the fall of communism. But it would be a more fitting and solid foundation for this epoch had it begun with an act of justice, not with what seemed more like the fall of Mussolini than the Nuremburg trials.

No one is quibbling in Libya now, I know. Still, to have the despotic brought to heal by institutions of justice seems, in the longer run, likely to be a more cathartic basis for the oppressed to recover than to visit violence with violence. This catharsis is rooted in showing that order now comes from the rule of law, not from crude strength or even a golden gun. History teaches us that violence tends only to beget more violence. (more…)

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