Friday 29 March 2013 / Hour 4, Block C: Fouad Ajami, Hoover, Senior Fellow and cochair, Working Group on Islamism and the International Order, The Banality of Evil What has become of the perpetrators of murder and genocide in Cambodia, Iraq, and other war-torn regions of the world?
...Now and then, retribution comes fast and furious, without the legal niceties, without the judges and lawyers, in The Hague. It has a cruel honesty all its own. This was the fate of the Libyan despot, Muammar Qaddafi, dragged out of a drainage pipe, by young rebels whose lives he had dominated. He had not been heroic when he surrendered to them. He had tried to appeal to them and to supplicate himself, to tell them that it was haram, impermissible in Arab and Muslim norms, to kill him. A gruesome murder followed, with violation of the corpse thrown into the bargain.
Liberal sensibilities squirmed. The man had been killed in captivity but those young men who had shown him no mercy were formed in the large prison that Qaddafi had constructed for the Libyans. He had taunted his subjects with his sexual license, with his vanity; he had stolen the treasure of the land, allocated it onto himself, his wife, and his brood. Those captors had no interest in a long drawn-out trial.
Hannah Arendt’s book does not travel everywhere. But the terrible man who ruled Libya for some four decades bore no resemblance to the rooster who had masqueraded as a fearless warrior of the desert.