The Libyan Rebels’ Massacre

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Abdel-Jalil is using the same template to “explain” the as yet unresolved circumstances under which Muammar Gaddafi was killed, which has also prompted calls for an investigation, due to what Abdel-Jalil characterized as the “demands of the international community.” Video footage shows that Gaddafi was still alive when he was pulled from a drainpipe after a NATO air assault ruined his escape attempt. Yet subsequent video showed the tyrant dead with a bullet wound to the head and covered in bruises. Nevertheless, Abdel-Jalil tried to deny the obvious. “Free Libyans wanted to keep Gaddafi in prison and humiliate him as long as possible,” he theorized. “Those who wanted him killed were those who were loyal to him or had played a role under him. His death was in their benefit.” Though Abdel-Jalil makes no mention of it, one might be inclined to assume this argument also applies to Muammar Gaddafi’s son, Muatassim, who also ended up dead, despite videos showing he was captured alive.

Such calculated obstinance raises an obvious question: if the circumstances surrounding the death of Muammar Gaddafi could be whitewashed to exonerate the rebels, what chance is there of an honest investigation being conducted of the massacre at the Mahari Hotel? It has been over a week since the incident occurred, and no one from the new government has initiated an investigation to date. HRW’s Peter Bouckaert illuminates the implications. “If the NTC fails to investigate this crime it will signal that those who fought against Gaddafi can do anything without fear of prosecution,” he said.

So far they have. Back in May, the New York Times ran a story speculating that rebels had formed a “death squad stalking former Gaddafi officials in Benghazi.” In August, rebels were charged with killing black people indiscriminately by African Union leader Jean Ping, who contended “the NTC seems to confuse black people with mercenaries…They are killing normal workers.” (HRI) also accused the rebels of conducting “ethnic cleansing and lynching of black people.” In October, rebels reportedly went on a “vengeance spree” in the town of Abu Hadi, known as a tribal center for Gaddafi. Unrestrained looting and the burning of houses by rebel forces was rationalized by rebel commander Col. Bashir Abu Thafeera, who contended they were the result of “42 years of oppression under Gaddafi.” And HRW noted that of the 95 people killed in the fighting and NATO strikes prior to Gaddafi’s capture, “between six and ten of the dead appear to have been executed at the site with gunshot wounds to the head and body.”

All of these illegal acts of vengeance and execution, plus others which will undoubtedly emerge as the fog of war dissipates, undercut the original premise of a “humanitarian” NATO mission sold under the auspices of “protecting the civilian population” in compliance with U.N Resolution 1973. And despite the fact that the National Transitional Council has shown little inclination to investigate any of the alleged abuses by rebel forces, NATO has announced that it will end operations in Libya by October 31st. “We did what we said we would do and now is the time for the Libyan people to take their destiny into their own hands,” said NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen last Friday.

It is a destiny which remains highly problematic. Abdel-Jalil amended his original statement that Libya will be a Muslim country governed under Sharia Law. “Libyans are Muslims, but we are moderate Muslims,” he said Monday, even as he urged “forgiveness and reconciliation” in his address to the nation. Yet he remained committed to Sharia Law. “Any law that runs contrary to the Islamic principles of the Islamic Shariah is legally void,” he said. Thus, second-class status for women and homosexuals, violence and intimidation directed at non-believers, and dreams of jihadist domination–all in moderation–will apparently be the foundation of the new Libyan government. It remains to be seen whether “forgiveness and reconciliation” includes turning a blind eye to rebel abuses, assuming any investigations take place at all.

As for those who wish to take credit for the outcome of the Libyan adventure, it would be wise to remember that with credit comes responsibility. Muammar Gaddafi will not be missed. It remains to be seen if what takes his place is better or worse, when thousands of weapons, including surface-to-air missiles capable of shooting down jetliners, remain unaccounted for, autonomous militias in search of vengeance remain unfettered by external control, and the genuine composition and ultimate objectives of the rebel forces remains largely a mystery.

One always hopes war will be won by the “good guys.” Fifty-three dead bodies of people seemingly executed in cold blood indicate that such a term may be nothing more than an exceedingly hollow expression when applied to the winners in Libya.

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  • Alvaro

    What a wonderful place Libya has become. I guess Obama and Ahmadinejad are celebrating now.

  • UCSPanther

    The problem is, that there are no "good guys" in places like Libya…

    • Geneww

      The Rebels Killed them!

      So much kindness comes from our 80% Muslim Membership of the UN and funded with US tax payers.

      Why are so many Christians being killed now without new reports? oops

      Where is the offense arsenal and Weapons of Mass Destruction? oops

      What happened to the 30 year in the making of the 2500 KM, 40 foot diameter pure water project to irrigate the Fertile Cresant to be the major food supply for Europe and N Africa? Fully paid for no World Bank or IMF finance … oops.

      Well this is not a perfect world!

  • truebearing

    Obama is succeeding in enabling a Caliphate. Next will be Syria, not that I will shed any tears for Assad.

    Not being one who displays much wisdom or serves the good of others, Obama can't be expected to be careful that you don't cast out one demon and seven take its place.

  • Fred Dawes

    We all knew that was coming, and obama needed it to happen, after all its not about freedom and justice or God or life its about power/oil/money/control.

    And when the other black guys( CAIN) is handed the black house it will be the new boos saying bye bye to the old black boss Puppet ALL AND ONE; and some day down the EVIL road to hell we will see it here in the land of BS.

  • StephenD

    Now comes the rhetoric with a call to calm and a caution to take a laissez-faire approach (hands off; wait and see). Of course, we'll have to give them time to adjust to their new found freedom and like all babes in the woods they'll have to work out the kinks. Pay no attention to that well oiled machine called the Muslim Brotherhood. Besides, they're "mostly secular" anyway. Yeah, everything is moving along quite nicely, thank you very much. Now then, you can go ahead and thank this Administration for keeping the oil prices steady for all of Europe-NOT (who must now assume more of the Dhimmi posture to stay in business with them). Our work there is almost complete. We must still provide funding for their infrastructure, set-up for their governmental agencies, etc. After all, what’s a little American Taxpayer money when we have a chance to make someone maybe say ‘like’ us?

  • WilliamJamesWard

    Mullahs in their mosques will give the orders to all of the bands of murdering thugs
    killing off undesirables. Sickening situation and vile consequences for the population
    who only wanted a job and a home. Islamist dominance is guaranteed and the
    slaves must line up while the Muslim Brotherhood decides who will live and how and
    who will die, some more horribly than others. Obama and Clinton, two of the hero's
    of the day but no one here knows what tomorrow will bring………………William



  • Bobbi

    NATO soldiers were caught on tape a few feet from the heinous murder of Kaddafi. They could have stopped the atrocity, which included Kaddafii being brutally beaten, sodomized with a stick after he had surrendered under a white flag. One wonders, since the Mufti has declared him an infidel, if this was the Muslim version of assassination.
    But, remember, all was done under the blessing of Obama, who did not want Kaddafi spilling any secrets, especially of where Obama’s campaign funds came from.
    At least GWB gave Saddam a trial.
    This brutal act will fester more terrorist acts against America, by Kaddafi’s family.

  • Bobbi

    The message this sends to dictators is, unlike Kaddafi, do not surrender your WMD’s.

  • tanstaafl

    Nuclear weapons are a dictator's insurance policy.

    • Herman Caintonette

      And yet, you wonder why Iran wants nukes?

      • GKC

        Who wonders why? They must be stopped. The questions are how, when and by whom?

  • BS77

    Qadaffi, the rebels, the ayotollahs, the Taliban, Sudan, Somalia…what's the difference? They are all barbarians.

  • mrbean

    I have no use for Qaddaffi, but Obama and his Administration conducted a Constutionally and Statuate Law illegal war. Here was the spin from the Whitehouse.
    “We are acting lawfully,” said Harold Koh, the State Department legal adviser, who expanded on the administration’s reasoning in a joint interview with White House Counsel Robert Bauer. American forces have not been in “hostilities” at least since April 7, when NATO took over leadership in maintaining a no-flight zone in Libya, and the United States took up what is mainly a supporting role.

    Ahhhh… use of drones with hellfire missiles on Qaddaffi, continuous combined bombing runs with NATO over Tripoli, command and control with AWAX on air operations constitutes an active war role. It seems the results will establish an Islamic Theocracy under Sharia law.

    • UCSPanther

      Don't forget that Gaddaffi wasn't friendly to the west, and wasn't openly hostile mainly because he was tamed down after that air raid by the USAF in the 1980s.

      I now think the rebels only won because NATO supported them. Had they been left to their own, Gaddafi would very likely have won mainly because of his ruthless cunning and his experience with putting down rebellions, since he had survived about 39 of them.

    • mlcblog

      Koh has a twisted view of "lawful."

      • Herman Caintonette

        And John Yoo didn't?

        • mlcblog

          Who is John Yoo?

  • Herman Caintonette

    There are atrocities in every revolution — including our own, truth be told. That someone decided to exact personal revenge on Gadhafi and his ministers is hardly surprising; I wonder how we would react, given similar provocation.

  • BLJ

    If it looks like MB, walks like MB, talks like MB and smells like MB. It is MB.

    Anyone who is suprised about what is happening and is going to happen in Libya is
    living in a fantasy world. Obama and his clueless cast of losers are asleep at the wheen at best or willing conspirators at worst.

  • crackerjack

    Same procedure as in Afghanistan. Same procedure as in Iraq. Same procedure as in Iran, if the war mongers get their way.

  • Big Red

    From what I have read in the comments for this article the posters are ignorant of the libyan tribal cullture. The Rebels are from a group of tribes from the western portion of
    Lybia and Gaddaffi' Tribe is from the area arouns Sirte. Gaddaffi's tribe has been killing and opressing the other Lybian tribes for years now they are getting cutural payback the arab way. Its not Obamma's fault for this except for his total lack of understaning the Arab and Islamic cultures and Obamma is getting terrible advice from his left wing sycophants who have not a clue in dealing with arabs.

  • crackerjack

    This wasn't Obama's war, and never was. Sarkozy led NATO in , forcing the US to adopt its role as leader of the alliance.

    Those now slamming Obama for supporting the Libyan rebells, are the same who slam Obama for not supporting Iranian or Syrian rebells. As if anyone serously expacts an different outcome in these countrys "revolutions".