By MURPHY BROWNE (Abena Agbetu)
Two wrongs never make a right. Nor can you right a wrong by committing another wrong. You may be able to justify your actions politically or socially, but spiritually you will be held accountable for what you do – why you do it doesn’t count. The pendulum of life swings both ways and brings rewards at both ends of the spectrum. If you use your mind, time and energy to cause harm to anyone, the pendulum will sooner or later move in your direction. If your slate is clean, when it swings toward you, you will not have to worry about being knocked down.
From Acts of Faith: Daily Meditations for People of Color by Iyanla Vanzant, published in 1993.
“We came, we saw, he died,” are the words that U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton reportedly chuckled when she was informed that Muammar Gaddafi had been killed by his captors.
The reports and images coming out of Libya of Gaddafi’s last minutes of life are no laughing matter. According to an article in the South African newspaper, Mail and Guardian, Archbishop Desmond Tutu was moved to comment on Clinton’s behaviour, saying that she could not be proud of calling for Gaddafi’s killing.
“Nor is killing a human being something to be celebrated.” http://mg.co.za/article/2011-10-21-sa-leaders-condemn-the-death-of-gaddafi.
The Archbishop condemned the killing in this reported statement: “The manner of the killing of Muammar Gaddafi on Thursday totally detracts from the noble enterprise of instilling a culture of human rights and democracy in Libya … the people of Libya should have demonstrated better values than those of their erstwhile oppressor.”
Tutu probably took part of his statement from Proverbs chapter 4, verse 31: Do not envy the oppressor, and choose none of his ways.
Gaddafi, who was killed on Thursday, October 20 after being captured by a group of his countrymen, was killed after a brutal beating that was proudly recorded and distributed online. Then came the dreadful, sickening images of his bloodied, half-naked body on display under lurid headlines such as: Moammar Gadhafi’s body is stored in commercial freezer at shopping center as it awaits burial. http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/10/moammar_gadhafi_is_stored_in_c.html.
There are several articles in newspapers and posts on the Internet about the murder of Gaddafi and some of his children. The articles are almost gleeful in reporting that a group of men captured, brutalized and killed another human being. Admittedly, many considered him a dictator, a tyrant and various other unsavoury names but he should have at least been given an opportunity to defend himself in a court of law. Maybe he did not give the same opportunity to some of his enemies but two wrongs do not make a right. Killing the man makes his killers just like him.
Gaddafi had his detractors and his supporters. Some considered him a Pan-Africanist while others thought his plan was to eventually ensure the Arabization of the African continent. This is not to be confused with the colonization that the Europeans visited upon the continent where they eventually left and returned to Europe, but more like the European colonization and occupation of America, Australia, Canada and New Zealand where they in essence now own those countries.
Do the western powers that covet Libya’s oil really think that they will be able to easily control the group that paraded a wounded Gaddafi through the streets as they gleefully brutalized him?
Do these western powers that turned a blind eye to the brutalization and murder of indigenous Africans in Libya (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/aug/30/libya-spectacular-revolution-disgraced-racism) in spite of human rights groups like Amnesty International raising the alarm really care about more than getting their greedy hands on that country’s oil?
While the so-called Libyan rebels labeled Africans “mercenaries” and immigrants/migrants, the fact remains that Libya is on the African continent and Africans lived there for millennia before the first Arab set foot on the continent. In the fight between the Arab Gaddafi forces and the Arab National Transitional Council (NTC) it seems that the world has lost sight of the fact that this is an African country and Africans not involved in the conflict have been brutalized and killed because of the colour of their skin.
In an article published in The Guardian on Tuesday, August 30, 2011, Richard Seymour wrote: A rebel slogan painted in Misrata during the fighting salutes “the brigade for purging slaves, black skin”. A consequence of this racism has been mass arrests of Black men, and gruesome killings – just some of the various atrocities for which human rights organizations blame rebels.
This is what the world is celebrating as a victory, liberation, democracy? There are various anonymous quotes like this one from a Toronto Sun article http://m.torontosun.com/2011/10/21/moammar-gadhafis-final-hours published Friday, October 21: Another NTC official, speaking to Reuters anonymously, gave another account of Gadhafi’s violent death: “They (NTC fighters) beat him very harshly and then they killed him. This is a war.”
If the western powers think that this bunch will welcome them with open arms and open the oil wells for their pleasure and plunder they had better think again. The European and North American media, for the most part, have written about the downfall of Gaddafi as the removal of a tyrant. There are others who see this as a removal of Gaddafi to ensure that the oil companies from countries such as the U.S., Britain, France and Italy could control Libya’s oil.
Gaddafi has been accused of atrocities; so have several American and European leaders, some of whom have once been great friends with Gaddafi. Even former U.S. President, George W. Bush, the “anti-terrorist activist” and seeker of non-existent weapons of mass destruction, embraced Gaddafi as reported by the San Francisco Chronicle in an article with the headline: Bush embraces Libyan terrorist Gadhafi, and all is forgiven. (Did someone say, “Oil”?). And Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, wrote in an article entitled “Gaddafi: first we fete them, then we bomb them – but that’s politics” partly about former British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s sycophantic relationship with Gaddafi, published in The Telegraph on September 5, 2011: “It was only a few years ago that Tony Blair himself came out to his tent, almost snogged the Mad Dog, and proclaimed a new era of cooperation between Britain and Libya.”
At the time these men could not seem to get enough of Gaddafi. So how did it go from being his Best Friends Forever (BFF) to being his mortal enemies? The hypocrisy of all the players in this farce (all with their own agenda) is astounding. Now they are hunting his children and grandchildren (any guesses why?).
Whatever wrong Gaddafi has been accused of, the brutality to which he was subjected when he was captured and the eventual brutal and undignified end to his life was wrong. Those involved in taking his life should have heeded the words of the wise African American woman, Iyanla Vanzant.