Thursday, October 20, 2011


(Reuters) - Muammar Gaddafi called the rebels who rose up against his 42-years of one-man rule “rats,” but in the end it was he who was captured cowering in a drainage pipe full of rubbish and filth.  “He called us rats, but look where we found him,” said Ahmed Al Sahati, a 27-year-old government fighter, standing next to two stinking drainage pipes under a six-lane highway.  Shortly before dawn prayers on Thursday, Gaddafi surrounded by a few dozen loyal bodyguards and accompanied by the head of his now non-existent army Abu Bakr Younis Jabr broke out of the two-month siege of Sirte and made a break for the west.  But they did not get far.  NATO said its aircraft struck military vehicles belonging to pro-Gaddafi forces.  Fifteen pick-up trucks mounted with heavy machine guns lay burned out, smashed and smoldering next to an electricity sub station some 20 meters from the main road, about two miles west of Sirte. 

Inside the trucks still in their seats sat the charred skeletal remains of drivers and passengers killed instantly by the strike. Gaddafi himself and a handful of his men escaped death and appeared to have run through a stand of trees toward the main road and hid in the two drainage pipes.  But a group of government fighters were on their tail.  At the time of capture, Gaddafi was already wounded with gunshots to his leg and to his back.  Joyous government fighters fired their weapons in the air, shouted “Allahu Akbar” and posed for pictures.  From there Gaddafi was taken to the nearby city of Sirte.  Video footage showed Gaddafi, dazed and wounded, but still clearly alive and gesturing with his hands as he was dragged from a pick-up truck by a crowd of angry jostling group of government soldiers who hit him and pulled his hair.  He then appeared to fall to the ground and was enveloped by the crowd. NTC officials later announced Gaddafi had died of his wounds after capture.

Former Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi was killed Thursday when revolutionary fighters overran his last loyalist stronghold, setting off raucous celebrations of victory in an eight-month war backed by NATO.  Gaddafi, 69, a long-entrenched autocrat who ruled Libya from 1969 and was driven from power 2 months ago, died as the revolutionaries ended loyalist resistance in Sirte, his home town and tribal power base.  In view of these current conflicts, we may wonder if the violence is justified and how we should apply the Gita’s wisdom to reach peace and harmony.

Qualified violence is an unavoidable reality of this world, even when we view the world from a religious perspective.  Everyone embraces the principle of qualified violence on some level.  Any sensitive person can feel, however subtle, the spirit of violence behind even the peace protester's outrage as they chant for peace or denounce those in favor of war. ... The Gita opines that, should diplomacy fail, violent means are justifiable.  The Gita, however, speaks only in principle on the issue of qualified violence.  The current world crisis is far too complex to expect the Gita to provide a specific answer on how to proceed, militarily or otherwise.  Scripture does not provide pat answers for every human circumstance.  It provides revealed knowledge-as to the nature of God, the self, and its material predicament-that can help individuals make decisions about every aspect of human existence by considering the nature of ultimate reality.

Śrīla Bhakti Vedanta Tripurari Mahārāja :
“To Fight or Not Fight?  The Bhagavad-Gita and theIraq War”
Sri Caitanya Sanga - April 7, 2003, Vol. V, No. 8

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