US media on Gaddafi: In praise of lynching
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton led the triumphant celebrations of Gaddafi’s death with her immortal line, “We came, we saw, he died!” - words which are sure to be remembered far beyond America’s shores. Joy at the killing of the killing of the African leader spread like wildfire through the US media.“It cost us a trillion dollars to get Saddam and a billion dollars to get Gaddafi,” remarked television host Bill Maher.“And Libya says they’re going to pay back the billion that we spent, too. So it’s going to end up being sort of free for nothing,” cheered the host of MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show.Senator Lindsey Graham gave it to us straight:“Let’s get in on the ground, there is a lot of money to be made in the future in Libya, there is a lot of oil to be produced,” he said. Not a single American soldier killed and great opportunities ahead – it seems like the perfect new warfare, and one that serves as a sharp lesson to others.
“I think it sends an important message to other leaders in the region,” lectured a CNN commentator.“Boy, I tell you, these Arab dictators – they’re not very original. Just like Saddam Hussein, caught him in a hole,” sneered Bill Maher.“Muammar Gaddafi was a bad guy,” Fox concluded. Although many Libyans would argue whether he was really so bad, considering what Gaddafi did for the country’s social welfare and women’s rights, in the eyes of the US media, he was the ultimate evil. “It is a demonization, every step of the way, against Gaddafi. In the media today always one man, one leader of a country, becomes a justification for destroying an entire country,” acknowledged Sara Flounders, member of the Workers World Party.For a few days, the media savored the bloody images of Gaddafi’s killing and laughed at similarities between his capture in a ditch and that of Saddam Hussein.In the eyes of the American public, the celebration of Gaddafi’s killing effectively erases the bad taste left by the NATO campaign – no mention of Libyan civilians killed in NATO strikes, not much talk about the destruction to the country caused by those strikes. Gaddafi’s killing is presented as a triumph, creating a perception that somehow it is perfectly OK to invade a country and help its leader be lynched. But if it is presented as such a success – doesn't it become more tempting to try the same methods somewhere else?