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article imageWest celebrates Gaddafi's end, but others express broad concern

By Michael Krebs     Oct 22, 2011 in World
The murder of Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi has been positioned by the White House as a win for the Libyan people, but its barbarism has drawn the attention of many countries who object to Western interventionism.
After his convoy was struck, Colonel Gaddafi and his body guards hid in a tight concrete tunnel from which they were dragged by an armed mob of Libyan rebels. A video circulating widely across the Internet shows a bloodied and somewhat disoriented Gaddafi being pulled and pushed about by a large and cacophonous rebel contingency, and a still image from the disorderly scene, displayed in a Daily Mail report, captures the grimace on Gaddafi's face and the handgun that would put a bullet through his temple.
U.S. President Barack Obama sought to capitalize on the murder of Muammar Gaddafi, positioning his death as an indication of Obama's leadership in foreign affairs.
"In Libya, the death of Muammar Gaddafi showed that our role in protecting the Libyan people, and helping them break free from a tyrant, was the right thing to do," Obama said in his weekly address on Saturday, as Reuters reported.
But while the White House touted the violent demise of the Gaddafi regime as another notch on its militarized belt, other international voices objected to the Libyan action.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the killing of Colonel Gaddafi amounted to a disregard for the Geneva Conventions and international law.
"We have to lean on facts and international laws," Lavrov said, according to a report in The Independent. "They say that a captured participant of an armed conflict should be treated in a certain way. And in any case, a prisoner of war should not be killed."
In his last words, captured in video footage and reported by the Daily Mail, Gaddafi cites Islamic law and the equation of right and wrong.
"What are you doing? It’s not allowed in Islamic law. What you are doing is forbidden," Gaddafi said to his captors. "What you’re doing is wrong, guys. Do you know what is right or wrong?"
In 1997, Nelson Mandela visited Libya to honor Gadhafi with the Cape Horn award, the highest South African honor to foreign figures, an event that was captured in an image posted by Hearst's Connecticut Media Group.
But while Gaddafi also became a vocal supporter of the war against Al Qaeda, his history with Western nations remained on shaky ground.
Gaddafi's regime had been tethered to the Lockerbie terrorist attack that took down a commercial jet over Scotland in 1988. 270 people, most of them Americans, were killed the attack. The news of Gaddafi's death was celebrated by the relatives of that strike, as ABC News reported.
However, for some in Africa, the news of Gaddafi's murder harkens back to the days of imperialism and interventionism that have shadowed the continent's history.
“This is a sad and dark day for Africa. There is no people who belong to God who can celebrate this. This is a brutal murder directed by Britain, France and America,” Professor Moyo, a Mugabe loyalist, told the Zimbabwe Mail.
More about Gaddafi, Obama, International law, Libya, Rebels
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