How Many Times Do I Need To Say This

Our Secretary of State, not acting like the grownup she is purported to be:

How many times do I need to say this? The death of a human being should not be applauded, celebrated, or congratulated. I join my brother member of the bar in taking the killjoy stance that celebratory statements and remarks about a man’s death, which seem to be coming from left of the aisle this time around, are not appropriate. Certain folks on the right, who ought to know who they are, have been similarly adomonished in the past here and elsewhere, e.g., applauding the multiplicity of executions in Texas in Presidential primary debates.

The liberation of Libya is properly cause for applause. The apparent end of the civil war, especially with what appear to have been the good guys winning, is certainly to be celebrated. Qaddafi is not to be mourned and perhaps his death will spare the world a farcical show trial as we were treated to with Saddam Hussein in Iraq.

Unfortunately, as with Saddam, we have now been treated to the spectacle of another gruesome and seemingly lawless execution performed by an angry mob. While the anger directed at Qaddafi is more than understandable and it may well be that someone simply let their emotions get the better of them, founding a new government upon what looks all too much like murder is not an auspicious beginning.

There is much to be pleased about concerning Libya after Qaddafi. But Qaddafi’s death is not one of them, and the manner of his death is disturbing. Let us encourage our new friends there to quickly adopt the rule of law rather than the rule of the mob.

Burt Likko

Pseudonymous Portlander. Homebrewer. Atheist. Recovering litigator. Recovering Republican. Recovering Catholic. Recovering divorcé. Recovering Former Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. House Likko's Words: Scite Verum. Colite Iusticia. Vivere Con Gaudium.


  1. I was all set to write a comment proffering my own m.o. of disagreeing with people: qualify the heck out of what you wrote and then assume some sort of strawmannish higher ground. But then I clicked on the video you linked to.

    I agree. I think gloating over someone’s death is very poor form.

  2. I disagree, some folks just need killing and Qaddafi was one of them after what he did to the Americans on Pan Am 103. My only regret is that he different suffer longer.

    • Maybe some people deserve to die, and maybe people have a duty to kill them, at least in some circumstances. Even though I don’t know if I agree, I’ll stipulate to it.

      But my objection is to the gloating.

      • “But my objection is to the gloating”

        Well, it’s not like Secretary Clinton stood up and did the Aaron Rogers discount double check dance.

    • It may be that Qadaffi deserved to die. I’m not going to argue with that proposition. Nor will I mourn him now that he is gone.

      Qadaffi is not the subject of my post.

      • I still disagree. Some folks are so bad, rotten, evil, or whatever that their deaths should be celebrated. Sorry, that we can’t all be as high-minded as you are.

        • I know you were responding to Mr. Likko, but I’ll add my partial concession:

          I recognize there’s a perverseness in my judging others for celebrating the death of a tyrant when I have not been personally or directly harmed by him. I thought of this last night, after I had written what I had above, when I watched the Newshour interview some Libyans who interpreted the killing of Qadaffi as a liberation. They seemed to care more about the freedom that his death seems to augur than they did about vengeance or joy in the killing.

          I still have reservations about what Secretary Clinton said, however.

          • I can understand the rejoicing by the Libyans that Qaddafi is dead – they have good cause to rejoice after years of oppression and I do not begrudge it them. It’s not optimal behavior, but it’s understandable.

            But I agree that it is unbecoming for third parties to gloat, or act with glee. No person’s death, however well-merited, should be celebrated by those well outside the harm caused by that person. I felt the same way about the gleeful crowds celebrating John Wayne Gacey’s execution. Such bloodlust, in ways, reduces us all to Qaddafi’s level.

            And if it was, in my Highland grandmother’s words, “a work of necessity and mercy,” so be it. Even take satisfation from it. But ix-nay on the oating-glay if you weren’t personally made to suffer by the man

  3. Though at some future press conference that announces Joe Kony has become metabolically challenged, if President Obama were to do the Ickey Shuffle, I’ll not only vote for him for re-election, I’ll sign up to support repealing the 22nd amendment at the Convention Mr Cahalan is mustering.

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