Thursday, February 24, 2011


Ordinarily I try to stick to fairly trivial things here.  Things like the misadventures with the dog or the furnace, or pop culture things like movies or memoria for fallen actors and writers.  But this morning I just have to remark on something a little heavier on the world stage.

As events in Libya continue to unfold, this morning I heard a report of a large group of protesters gathering in a mosque in Tripoli.  They were apparently warned to break it up or there would be "a massacre."  They chose to stay and continue their protest.  Shortly thereafter, one of Qaddafi's fighter units attacked the mosque. Dozens are estimated to be dead.

I am wondering this morning what kind of person obeys that order.

Libya's dictator is clearly "round the twist" as they say in the UK.  He is nutty as a fruitcake.  Anyone who saw his rambling press conference in which he droned on for over an hour under a white umbrella, calling the protesters "greasy rats and cats" and generally making no sense whatsoever, can have no doubts whatsoever as to his mental competence, or the lack thereof.  So what kind of person accepts the order from this nutball to go bomb a church?

Where does it stop?  Have we as a species learned nothing from our history?  That the "I was only following orders" defense is no defense at all?  It's bad enough that the mentality of a suicide bomber remains largely closed to me.  But I can -- barely, but I can -- wrap my mind around someone being so ignorant and depressed and oppressed that they feel that taking out themselves and as many others as they can is the only course of action open to them.  Barely.

But you can't be an ignorant peasant and fight in a supposedly elite unit.  To acquire those skills you have to be at least literate and fairly intelligent.  So again I ask, what kind of literate, fairly intelligent person gets the orders to go and kill a church full of people -- and says, "OK?"  What kind of sociopath can take those orders, carry them out, and continue to live with himself?

It's madness.

I wish the people of Libya well during this time of trials for them.  I hope they are finally able to rid themselves of their lunatic dictator with as little further loss of life as possible.  But I feel that there will be a lot more blood shed because of the small-minded men who continue to serve Qaddafi's whims and will do so until the bitter, bitter end.


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