I was a small baby when Muammar al-Gaddafi came to power, but since then — with a few poignant exceptions — the United States has been more conscious of how his name was tortuously spelled, rather than how he controlled and tortured his people. Certainly the Libyan people know.
Let me share a thought that I neglected when Osama bin-Laden was killed: I’m not sad that either man is dead, but it’s a shame that both were killed, especially in the case of Gaddafi. After all those decades, he owed the Libyan people a trial. Not an escape, not a violent death, but a trial with a full airing of his crimes. The Libyans lost a chance to accuse, expose and try their dead dictator, and mete out a sentence — and now never can.
That (thinking back to the bin-Laden killing) and not a military strike, is the cornerstone of justice because the same is true of the American (and other) people.
Oh, and I hope those photos of Western leaders cozying up to Gaddafi before the Arab Spring come back to haunt them.