Thursday, 20 October 2011

Jim Swire's reaction when it was thought Gaddafi had been taken alive

[What follows is the text of a commentary written by Dr Jim Swire for The Herald at a time when it was thought that Colonel Gaddafi had been captured alive. A revised version, prepared once it was confirmed that he had been killed, should appear in tomorrow's edition of the newspaper.]

At the time of writing it appears that Colonel Gaddafi should survive his injuries, though there will be many around him now with scores to settle. 

His record of torture and execution, (usually with no trial) among his own people, and abroad, is appalling, but cannot justify his own summary execution now. His safe extraction from Libya and hand over to the International criminal Court for trial for his crimes against his own people would be a huge endorsement of  responsible attitudes by Libya's Interim Council. 

It is true that in the days of Lady Thatcher and President Reagan in 1986, a attempt was made to assassinate Gaddafi, using the USAF. This attempt demolished part of his family’s house but missed him. It was the root cause of enduring loathing by Gaddafi supporters, and the families of those who did die in that raid, for all things American. It was a cause for seeking revenge. Incidentally, it cost the lives of as many Americans, flying F111s, as had died in the disco bombing.

'The consequence of the use of violence is the death of innocent people' 

In 1986 Reagan was trying to get revenge for the bombing of a disco in Berlin, which was alleged to have been caused by Libyans and which had killed one or two Americans. 

If it turns out that Gaddafi was trying to get revenge for 1986 by supporting the Lockerbie mass murders, then we need to hear that brought out in a fair court. 

If on the other hand he is able to supply evidence that Iran/Syria were behind the Lockerbie killings, as seems much more likely, despite the Zeist verdict, then Iran too would have been acting out of revenge for the shoot down of one of her airbuses in 1988 only six months before Lockerbie with the death of 290 pilgrims, after which the awarding of a medal to Captain Rogers of the USS Vincennes which had fired the missiles galvanised the calls for revenge from the land of the Ayatollahs...

Whichever way you look revenge is there, deeply imbedded in human nature. Let us avoid adding to it now. But remember proudly that Scotland did exercise compassion in the release of the Libyan Baset al Megrahi, yes, let’s be proud of that

My prayer is that Gaddafi will survive to stand trial in the ICC and that he will be enabled to assemble evidence and witnesses, not only about his domestic activities but also about his knowledge of Lockerbie.
Now that we have the ICC , a legacy supported by the late Robin Cook, though disliked by America, we have a superior instrument for the delivery of justice at the international level, not revenge over the dreadful murders at Lockerbie. Gaddafi’s case in the ICC might be able to throw some light on the truth about that. Fair trial is the civilised alternative to revenge.
This may be a time to remember Nelson Mandela’s 
wise words when the Lockerbie trial court was announced “No one country should be complainant, prosecutor and judge”.

Were the UK and US acting as ‘one country' at Zeist? A trial of Gaddafi at the ICC might throw light on that as well.

The ICC gives us the best route to avoiding the natural lust for revenge, and to avoid national preconceptions as to who is or is not guilty of what crimes. Let us pray that Gaddafi can be protected from revenge by elements in Libya and elsewhere. Humanity would gain most from a fair trial in this court. 

[By way of contrast, here is the text of the press release from the Scottish Government:]

Commenting on the confirmed reports that Colonel Gaddafi is dead, First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond said:

"Gaddafi was a brutal dictator, who exploited his country and brutalised the Libyan people for over four decades - he lived by the sword, and has met his just-deserts. We now look forward to the end of conflict in Libya, and the emergence of a free and democratic country.

"Regarding the ongoing Lockerbie investigation, the Crown Office have always said that the Lockerbie atrocity remains an open case. The only person convicted, Al Megrahi, acted in his capacity as a Libyan intelligence agent - he was found guilty of an act of state-sponsored terrorism and did not act alone.

"Therefore, our police and prosecution authorities stand ready to investigate and follow any new lines of inquiry that may be emerging in Libya at the present moment - just as Scotland's justice system has dealt with all aspects of the Lockerbie atrocity over the last 23 years according to the precepts of Scots Law, and no other factor."


  1. I forced myself to watch footage earlier which made me want to vomit. This whole outing, in which the UK played such a leading role, was utterly wrong in my view. The resolution passed, as far as I recall, by the UN, was not meant to mean NATO forces backing one side and actually joining in the attacks.

    We should not forget either that within 24 hours of everything kicking off in Libya the Libyan Authorities called for UN Observers to go immediately to Libya. That request was ignored by the UN because of the power of certain members of the Security Council who, when it comes to filthy tactics, are every bit as adept as Gaddafi at throwing away the rule book and, in their case, even the Geneva Convention. (Guantanamo Bay anyone?)

    To every person who used the phrase "the people of Libya" when speaking about those who backed "the rebels" I would say there were many other Libyan people who backed Gaddafi and they were being murdered in recent months too. No mention of them tho. What will happen to them in a new "democratic" Libya?

    Even now I can't believe the UK, represented by the worm known as William Hague, could dare to even comment on this latest turn of events today and feel no shame about our part in this affair. When will he admit the truth about his motivation? When will Cameron do the same? It was no attempt to "free Libya". As always it was about something else altogether. To see Hague almost smirking was utterly disgusting. To listen to him in recent months casually speaking of "regime change" - something that is illegal when imposed by outsiders on another sovereign country - made me realise yet again just why we in the West are hated throughout the world along with the US.

    I am no fan of Gaddafi but what I witnessed tonight made me see, once again, the arrogance of the West in all its ugliness.

  2. Thank you, Jo G, for writing that, saving me the time.

    When should we accept a dictator, even a brutal one? When he is the best option for the majority of his people, and leaves other nations in peace.

    What now for the libyan people? We have seen Iraq and Afghanistan, with millions of people dead as a result of our help.

    There was a time where you might get beaten up in jail if you opposed Saddam Hussein. That is bad.

    But below is AI's introduction to the situation in Iraq today.

    Who can justify a claim that it is better now than under Saddam Hussein, or that it will be better soon?

    Is that the Libya we are going to see? If so, give me back Gadaffi anytime.

    This is the depressive thing about Megrahi's conviction. Politics may be an unclear matter, and quantifications can be hard to make. Some evil acts may be based on good intentions, even though it takes a thick blindfold to keep believing in it.

    But the absurd conviction of Megrahi and the years of cover up and delaying his retrial can leave no doubt about how totally sick and hypocritical our great western democracies are, into their very core.

    Armed groups opposed to the government carried out numerous suicide bomb and other attacks, killing hundreds of civilians. Militia groups also carried out targeted killings.

    Serious human rights violations were committed by Iraqi security forces and US troops: thousands of people were detained without charge or trial, including some held for several years, although many others were released. All prisons formerly controlled by US forces were transferred to Iraqi administration by mid-July together with all but some 200 detainees who remained in US custody in Iraq. Torture and other ill-treatment of detainees by Iraqi security forces were endemic; some detainees were tortured in secret prisons and several others died in custody in suspicious circumstances.

    The courts handed down death sentences after unfair trials and at least 1,300 prisoners were reported to be on death row. One execution was reported, although the real total was believed to be much higher. Around 3 million Iraqis were either internally displaced within Iraq or refugees abroad. Women continued to face discrimination and violence.

  3. Spot on Jo. Of course if you go looking for the hard evidence of the alleged events from February which formed the basis of NATO intervention, which were alleged in tweets and anonymous broadcast interviews, you'll be hard pressed to find any.

  4. Jo G,
    I think you've got it wrong. The vast majority of Libyans, maybe 99% loathed Gaddafi.
    They could never be rid of him without outside help because the West had armed him to the teeth. A major contributor to this and in training his army was the UK.
    Of course the uprising was triggered by the French backed by the US but this is what Libyans had been dreaming about for years.

  5. I have respect for Gaddafi and his fighters. Death to Western imperialism.

  6. AMEN ! --- In the NAME of ALLAH, the most Compassionate, the most Merciful...
    Edwin and Mahnaz Bollier

  7. Dear Ruth,

    when Gadaffi is gone, some other leader will be put in his place. This is invariably a leader liked by the west, opening his arms to our corporate and political interests. Otherwise he is removed.

    Unlike the puppets our military installs into power, many dictators needed to show great leadership throughout their career. Looking at the extreme superficiality of e.g. American election campaigns, I see no reason (or evidence) why they should produce better leaders than those who had to fight their way ahead in a violent society.

    Dictators like Gadaffi and Saddam Hussein were once rebels as well, fighting dictatorship too. But instead of being supported by the world's dominant military force (or having inherited their powers from other dictators) they had to find support for their cause among their own.

    Your figure, that "maybe 99% loathed Gaddafi" is wishful thinking. The western press always portrays the 'enemy' dictators as monsters, with an insatiable appetite for senseless killing of innocents. It is a complete lie.

    In one sense they share a fundamental wish with the overwhelming majority of the population: safety and stability.

    Our crusades are bringing anything else.

    - - -

    Gadaffi was a dictator, grabbing power and holding on to it. At times a murderer (just like e.g. Bush and Blair), but unlike them an outstanding leader.

    Great improvements happened under him, you may want to read

    Compared to the general wealth of the country, how does this compare to the health service levels of USA?

    “The UNICEF/WHO report noted that prior to 1990, 97 percent of the urban dwellers and 71 percent of the rural population had access to free primary health care.” (wiki)

    Our invasion in Iraq in 2003 destroyed 12% of the public hospitals. Before that, our embargo killed off a health care system that was one of the regions best.

    Madeleine Albright may have thought that the death of of 500,000 children “is worth it”

    How do you think matters work in Libya now and in the years to come?

    As a mother, would you prefer your child to live?

    Or die under "Freedom and Democracy" installed by others?

    - - -

    With all we can blame Gadaffi for, let's just see exactly when the Libyans will reach the same level as under him.

    This is not a political forum and I apologize for this off-topic post. The relevance to Lockerbie is there, though.

    Clearly the machinery that has “even” Danish politicians celebrating Gadaffi's violent death, is the same that suppresses the truth about other matters central to our dignity as human beings. The Megrahi conviction remains one of the most clear and blatant examples.

  8. Ruth, the former Prime Minister of this country and the former President of the United States, between them, are responsible for the deaths of around one MILLION Iraqis. When will their day in court come? If a group of aggrieved Iraqis gun either of them down and drag his body through the streets, will the Sun go with "THAT'S FOR IRAQ!" as a headline?

    The US and the UK are, between them, the reason why the State of Israel is able to breach resolution after resolution because they VETO all attempts to bring Israel to justice for its crimes. Their idea of "justice" is to deny Palestine the same right to a state of its own because ISRAEL doesn't want that! The US president stated only two weeks ago that it didn't matter if Palestine went to the UN to demand recognition because its what Israel wants that counts. He actually said that publicly. THAT is how Western "justice" works Ruth. It isn't my definition of justice or of democracy.

    If the West truly embraced democracy we would dismantle a Security Council which seeks only to protect the interests of the big boys and ignore the rest of the world around the same table which is the UN as a body.

    Gaddafi was a power mad dictator, yes indeed, but by God he has his counterparts in the West and no mistake.

    They spoke of (illegal) regime change throughout this affair. They wanted Gaddafi dead in exactly the manner we saw. These "civilised" Western people provided the big firepower knowing the "rebels" would do the rest if they got their hands on Gaddafi.

    I do not accept your figure of 99% of the people being against Gaddafi. Had that been the case this would have been over long ago. You think the rebels didn't kill any of them? You think they won't hunt down those who remain?

    And Ruth, do you understand that many in this new self-appointed (but recognised by the West) government are former Gaddafi Lieutenants who jumped ship when the heat was on?

    But pay attention to UK politicians now, and US ones too, and the French when they speak of the new Libya. They want a piece of it: that's the plan. That was always the plan along with getting rid of Gaddafi, a man the UK government was doing trade with in recent years, shaking hands with even.

    I repeat, what we saw on our screens last night should not have been shown. We should never rejoice at such scenes no matter who the victim is because it was barbaric and awful. The UK should NEVER have been involved in the Libyan situation and they paved the way for those final scenes to play out the way they did. Indeed, I would say they actually encouraged the assassination. They didn't want Gaddafi in a Court. They wanted him dead.

  9. They didn't want Gaddafi in a Court. They wanted him dead.

    Precisely, Jo G! This is the introduction to an article I wrote seven months ago:

    "Prime Minister David Cameron has a secret about Lockerbie. It’s a secret that explains why the PM is desperate to have Colonel Gaddafi blamed personally for the sabotage of Pan Am Flight 103 on 21 December 1988, and to have Gaddafi executed without a trial."

    The full article can be read here: Lockerbie: Cameron's Nuclear Secret.

  10. "Therefore, our police and prosecution authorities stand ready to investigate and follow any new lines of inquiry that may be emerging in Libya at the present moment - just as Scotland's justice system has dealt with all aspects of the Lockerbie atrocity over the last 23 years according to the precepts of Scots Law, and no other factor."

    You lie Mr Salmond. Your own actions have left your hands, on the issue of Lockerbie, as contaminated as those of those Unionists I used to believe you were above in every way. Yet on Lockerbie you have been no different.

    We know what "Scot's Law" means for you and your Justice Minister and justice isn't on the list over Lockerbie, is it? Only preserving the reputation, God help us, of the Scottish Justice System matters. The current reputation screams to the rooftops that it is corrupt, that our Appeal Courts are corrupt and unwilling to ever admit any mistake in an earlier trial. And even when the Supreme Court finds a major one (as with the Fraser case when it found someone in the PF's office had tampered with evidence) you will attack the messenger rather than admit our system is rotten to the core.

    New lines of inquiry? How about the SCCRC report? Oh no, I forgot, your Justice Secretary gagged the SCCRC on that didn't he? Used his "compassion" to free Megrahi when in fact what you both were doing was assisting your Unionist pals who form the UK political establishment and the Judiciary to keep the truth about Lockerbie hidden. The sad thing about that is that you were better than your political counterparts once and now, you are no different.

  11. "This is not a political forum and I apologize for this off-topic post. The relevance to Lockerbie is there, though."

    SM, no apology required here and I'm sure Prof B would agree. And thank you for that particular post and the many useful links within it.

  12. JoG and SM,
    As you dispute my figures please give me the percentage of Libyans who were pro Gaddafi.

  13. Ruth, tell you what, why don't you produce evidence of the figures you quoted in the first place?

  14. Oh and Ruth, it has not gone un-noticed that you utterly ignored everything else said by SM and by me. That speaks volumes really.

  15. JoG,
    The majority of what you and SM wrote was irrelevant to my statement that the majority of Libyans hated Gaddafi. All I want to know is where you get your facts from, not to be lectured on things that are in part entirely obvious.

    SM seems to rely on Wiki for some of his information. Where does yours come from?

  16. Ruth, and I asked you where YOU get your facts from. If you can't answer then remain silent. If the things SM and I said were "entirely obvious" then I wonder why you rushed to state that 99% of Libya was against Gaddafi. Now, to return to the question, where are your statistics please?

  17. Oh, and Ruth, my stats don't need much supporting. You've said 99% of Libya was against Gaddafi. I'm saying if that was the case, how come the guy was in power for so long?

  18. (And how come that 99% needed so much Western firepower to bring him down?)

  19. Jo G,
    My words were in fact as follows:
    'The vast majority of Libyans, maybe 99% loathed Gaddafi.'
    You asked:
    'And how come that 99% needed so much Western firepower to bring him down?'

    Jo G if you had been paying attention to the news you might have gathered that Gaddafi not only had a massive armory but also that his army was trained by the SAS. Sniper guns used to shoot unarmed protesters were supplied by the UK. Moreover, it's very difficult indeed protesting when you're being shot at by artillery fire as happened in Benghazi.
    All Gaddafi's residences were heavily protected. He had a vast intelligence apparatus, which quickly dealt with any word against him. There were many, many assassination attempts

    And finally Jo G,
    You were first to bring up the subject of numbers supporting Gaddafi in
    'To every person who used the phrase "the people of Libya" when speaking about those who backed "the rebels" I would say there were many other Libyan people who backed Gaddafi and they were being murdered in recent months too"

    So as soon you reveal sources, I'll show mine.

  20. Dear Ruth,

    you wrote: "As you dispute my figures please give me the percentage of Libyans who were pro Gaddafi."

    Libya was a safe and peaceful country to live in for the vast majority of people. In many ways a modern country. As an example, the usual suppression of women was smaller in Libya than anywhere else in the Arab world.


    The health care level is mentioned elsewhere.

    Aren't such matters absolutely fundamental parameters?

    Does a steady improvement here not speak louder than the recent propaganda that tries to portray the leader as a mad murderer, only out to rob and suppress his people?

    Gadaffi took over in '51, in a bloodless coup. What great improvements we bring. How much more civilized we are.

    - - -

    The western press uniquely focuses on the leader. Gadaffi, Gadaffi, Gadaffi. Now he is dead, now the freedom can start.

    At least tens of thousands of bombs have been dropped. Killing men and women who was fathers, mothers, sisters and brothers.

    And already tens of thousands of people on both sides have been murdered, maimed, tortured, raped, robbed.

    Ask rather who was pro them.

    - - -

    Are you unaware of the enormous amount of human right abuses that must and will follow a violently enforced regime change?

    Do you ever google for "amnesty (some country)" and scan over the headlines to get another input on how it is really going in the countries we liberate?

    Is "Give me the percentage of Libyans who were pro Gaddafi" really the question to ask?

    How about:
    At what human cost did we make the change?

    What such costs can be expected to follow?

    Does history suggest that we be able to show that the situation for the people in the country improved?

    - - -

    I have done just a bit of reading here.

    And as for Megrahi's case, I would have given quite a lot for being able to have my conclusions matching the beliefs as I had when I started. Or, at least, be in doubt.

  21. Ruth, I know what my words were and I know yours. You said "99% of Libyans" were against Gaddafi. I asked you your sources. All I said was that "many" pro Gaddafi people had been killed. That is a fact and I don't need to produce sources. You do. You should take up politics Ruth. Your style of reasoning is precisely why our world is in the state it is today!

  22. Jo G
    These are my words,

    'The vast majority of Libyans, maybe 99% loathed Gaddafi.'

    'Maybe' denotes possibility.

    Instead of berating me it would be better to stick to what I say. I've never said whether I feel the uprising was a good thing or not. I've just said the vast majority, possibly 99% loathed Gaddafi.

    I've read so much information that is completely wrong from people who opposed the uprising and NATO intervention. Please don't jump to conclusions that this means I supported intervention.

    People say Libyans had a very high standard of living compared to other African states. There were the very,very rich who owed their wealth to their support of Gaddafi and then there were the very, very poor, possibly one third living in poverty. If you average out the income, it would look good in statistics.

    Healthcare in western Libya may have been good I don't know. But in eastern Libya it was poor with half built hospitals lying empty, lack of equipment, people themselves having to pay for treatment abroad etc. I remember when my son was in hospital in Benghazi, a doctor told me to get him out as soon as possible. This was before hundreds of children were infected with AIDS.

  23. 'The vast majority of Libyans, maybe 99% loathed Gaddafi"

    Ruth, that's a big percentage to quote as a maybe or a possibility especially when you used the figure to suggest I was wrong in simply saying he had "many" supporters.

    I think we should leave it there as this will go in circles.

  24. Dear Ruth,

    you wrote:
    "There were the very,very rich who owed their wealth to their support of Gaddafi and then there were the very, very poor, possibly one third living in poverty."

    That is always how it is.

    Iron-fisted men (usually), grab power and enrich themselves in the process, while millions have little.

    Hope your son got well, after all.
    Be aware, that there are only a little handful of countries in the world where westerners would dream about using government hospitals for anything serious if they could afford other options.

    "If you average out the income, it would look good in statistics."

    Nobody is hopefully taking only the GDP as indicator for how people in a country is doing.

    But looking deeper, Libya did quite well in comparison with other countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

    I recommend this source, which also gives rankings and figures.
    a comprehensive work on MENA

    I quote, selectively:

    Many observers believe that Gadhafi enjoys relatively wide popularity in most of Libya. The reason for this popularity is both a politics that have attempted to divide the benefits from Libya's wealth evenly between the urban and the rural areas. But heavy government control over the press has also helped with presenting a positive image of Gadhafi to the public. Still, Libya allows the use of satellite dishes, which has given the Libyan population access to a wide range of alternative channels, which often present another image of Gadhafi.
    There is room for limited opposition in Libya, as long as fundamental aspects of the Libyan construction remains unquestioned: The Libyan revolution, the concept of the jamahiriyya, and the position of Gadhafi, which are almost holy for the modern Libyan state.

    In the early 1980's, about 70% of men were literate, and 35% of women. This has improved greatly since then, 2004 estimates make literacy for men above 90%, and more than 70% for women.

    Libya does very well among African nations on the Human Development Index where it comes in as no. 55 of the 182 states that are ranked in the world, no. 6 among MENA countries and no. 1 in Africa

    Following independence 1951, Libya introduced a program of free education for all. There was a great focus on Islamic subjects. Still, education was secured for a large part of the young, including girls. The revolution and end to monarchy in 1969 caused relatively few actual changes to the educational system. Education was given priority but Libya faced the obstacle of too few qualified teachers.



  25. Health services are free for all citizens. Primary health care is very well developed, and available all across the country. There are about 7,000 doctors, 1.3 per 1,000 inhabitants. Many doctors have been trained abroad, and overall Libyan doctors have good skills.

    Due to United Nation's sanctions, Libya's health care system were among the sectors suffering the most in the 1990's: Imports of medicine and surgical supplies as well as parts for repairs were halted.

    Health conditions as reflected in statistics show positive developments, fertility rates go down every year. Life expectancy is increasing, now being almost at European levels. In the 1960's, life expectancy was only 46 years, more than 30 years shorter than today.

    - - -

    A murderous tyran who did nothing else than enrich himself, and had 99% of the people against him?

    - - -

    The level of the pro-war propaganda casts a dark shadow over how little it takes to gain war support.
    You only have to look at one side of the coin, and only simple arguments are needed.

    He arranged Lockerbie!
    He made himself rich while other suffered!
    Now good-hearted rebels are standing up against him, and he use weapons again them!
    His soldiers raped this girl!

    That is all that's needed to gain political support. Let's have UN approving a no-fly zone and let us drop tens of thousands of bombs and finish off Gadaffi's rule.

    And nobody seems to be interest in the questions I myself find most obvious:

    What is the cost in human casualties? To what extent will the break-down of the system cause death and suffering?

    Disregarding all the killing and destruction, can we ensure that an at least equally capable person takes over?

    Do we have reason to believe that the power that participated in the violent overthrow will care the for the people of the country, more than for their own interests?

    Does independent sources report improvements for the people in the other cases where we changed regimes by use of force?

    - - -

    As I see it, all answers are resoundings "No"s but I be much, much happier if somebody could show me that I am wrong. Please.

  26. Dear Ruth,

    you wrote:
    "Instead of berating me..."

    I don't! I don't even know you. :-)

    No, what is happening is that I feel a great deal of pain. Killings in the millions in the last 10 years. My country (Denmark) participating. Attack after attack, and next to no reaction from the people. More in ongoing - the usual strangulation process is long started, later comes the blood.

    The obviousness of the Megrahi-case -
    - and the roaring silence of the press in all cases.

    Many Germans in Nazi-Germany must have felt just like this. My mails to old friends are filled with these things. And as I saw some support for the murdering in your "99% was against him", well, I wrote what I wrote.

    So, my frustration, more than any proportionate response to something you said.

    And as already said, this is not even the right place. But I'll yell anywhere.

  27. Once again, Swire will do anything to get on the news. Swire used to speak of Gaddafi and his money. But now that Gaddafi is useless to him, Swire has this to say:

    His record of torture and execution, (usually with no trial) among his own people, and abroad, is appalling, but cannot justify his own summary execution now.

    Since when did Gaddafi's appalling record of summary executions mean anything to Swire? That record never constituted a big enough moral barrier to prevent Swire from joining hands with an official from Gaddafi's apparatus of terrorism and summary executions, in the pursuit of justice, of all bloody things. Gaddafi's record never prevented Swire from consulting with him on the eve of launching an appeal to the Scottish government. And Gaddafi's appalling criminal record never prevented Swire from sucking up to him, hanging his own daughter's picture on Gaddafi's wall of shame and pinning a badge of "Lockerbie Truth" on Gaddafi's chest.

  28. Suliman wrote:
    "...Swire has this to say:

    'His [Gadaffi's] record of torture and execution, (usually with no trial) among his own people, and abroad, is appalling, but cannot justify his own summary execution now.'

    Since when did Gaddafi's appalling record of summary executions mean anything to Swire?"

    It probably did all the time, but there was a practical problem:

    If you refuse to work with or talk to state leaders with blood on their hands there is virtually nobody left to talk to.

    Jim Swire is entitled to focus on matters related to the event that killed his daughter. This has meant needing to keep contact to two wrongly convicted persons: Megrahi and Gadaffi. Telling the world that of that particular crime they can not be regarded as guilty, so let us find out who really is.

    Publicly speaking out about Gadaffi's crimes would have made all this impossible.

    Can you honestly say that you do not understand Jim Swire and would have acted differently in his shoes?

    - - -

    We are greatly influenced by our friends, whether we want to be or not.

    It is much more likely that the contact to Jim Swire (and Gadaffi will have known where he stands in human right's matters) could have improved upon the dictators behavior, than that even one more Libyan should have been harmed.

    If that would not be true, I'd be the first to object.

  29. Gadhafi had (almost) no friends left. It wasn't just Europe. It wasn't just the UK. It wasn't just the USA. The Arab League also wanted Gadhafi gone.

    The only group that supported Gadhafi was the African Union. But the AU has little power. Gadhafi was doomed.