I watched video of Libyan ruler Moammar Gadhafi, in terrible shape, and soon to die. As well, I believe I saw his body after he had died. The images were horrible. While the ethics of showing this material can be debated, they show us that this man came to a violent end. I don't think we should be sheltered from that truth. I do think we should consider the question:
Is that the best we can do?
I don't question that Moammar Gadhafi oppressed his country, inflicted violence upon others and was involved in terrorist activities. I will read more about him and gain some more understanding but clearly, he did terrible things. But, in 2011, do we not have better ways to deal with a person like Gadhafi? Is there not a more peaceful solution?
I saw people of Libyan descent on the news. They looked genuinely happy that this man is dead. I know that they have legitimate, heartfelt reasons for this happiness. For them, I am pleased that they and their families feel free of this man's threat.
When my son learned about this event though, and we were talking about it, I chose to temper the celebratory tone. I don't like to convey that a person's violent death is a cause for joy. How do we teach tolerance and love when the ultimate answer is to kill bad people?
I don't know what better ways there are to stop people like Moammar Gadhafi and others from doing harm. I think society should be working towards better solutions though. Solutions from the mind rather than from military strategy are called for. We're not there yet, we don't have better answers, but we can work towards getting to a more enlightened place where we can do better.
Maybe it was the right decision of the media to show the tapes of the ugly truth of the end of Moammar Gadhafi's life. And to show the ugly truth of violence, even when it's considered to be for a good cause.