Treat Muammar Qaddafi’s Body “As The Future Of Your Children Deserves”

There seems to be a real disconnect from where the Libyan people have been the past 40 years through no fault of their own, and where they wish to be in the decades to come.

Most notably displayed over the media and internet over the past days have been the lines of people wanting to get a close-up look at the body of Muammar Qaddafi.  In a rather awful setting the body of the dictator is sprawled on a mattress in a large cooler.  By all accounts the smell is bad.

There seems morbid glee on too many faces that are lined up with cell phone in hand to snap a picture.  To some extent I get that need to see the dictator dead  given the history they have lived through, and yet it is not making anyone look good.   The past is now over, and the future is to be claimed.  Is this the way they wish to start a new book about their nation?

The connection between the past and the future of Libya seems to be missed by many who fought to undo the wretched excesses and savagery of Qaddafi.  Some common sense needs to be quickly established from those who wish to hold any future power in Libya.

Today I read a most fantastic article about this topic, and use one line to encourage a complete viewing.

Treat that body not as the fallen tyrant deserved, but as the future of your children deserves.

There is a scene in Hamlet where the bereaved Prince turns to the conniving Polonius asking him to treat a group of actors visiting the Elsinore with dignity and generous hospitality. “Good my lord,” Hamlet says, “Will you see the players well bestowed? Do you hear, let them be well used, for they are the abstract and brief chronicles of the time. After your death you were better have a bad epitaph than their ill report while you live.”

These days are indeed “the abstract and brief chronicles of the time” for future Libyans, for the future of the Arab and Muslim world. They should treat the fallen tyrant not “according to his desert,” but after their own honor and dignity.

Let the pictures and videos of a proper burial and a dignified resting place for Colonel Gaddafi fill the schoolbooks in which future generations of Libyans will read their Arabic alphabet and learn the dignity of their parentage.

The man was a relic, a frightful echo from a past, a monster not entirely of his own making. Heads of state, who in some cases enabled the dictator, are now rejoicing in his downfall.

How unseemly were the scenes of US President Obama, or UK Prime Minister Cameron, rejoicing in Gaddafi’s downfall. But as Omar Mukhtar says in a key scene in the late Mustapha Akkad’s Lion of the Desert (a film about rebels fighting the Italian invasion of Libya) when refusing to kill a captured Italian soldier, “they are not our teachers”.

One thought on “Treat Muammar Qaddafi’s Body “As The Future Of Your Children Deserves”

  1. Craig

    But really, the Americian U.S. Army Generals of WWII made the German town folk walk through the Nazi consentration camps for a good and smelly look~see so these folks could see just what they tolerated and ignored.

    All is fair in love and war.


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