Guest post by Ben Carmack
On Thursday morning I learned that Moammar Qadhaffi, the dictator of Libya since 1969, had been killed. Libyan rebel leaders were interviewed on the BBC and other media outlets celebrating the death of a man they regarded as an oppressor and tyrant. They are looking forward to a democratic future for Libya.
Nonsense of course.
I do not mean to defend Qadhaffi here. He was, no doubt, a sleazebag and glorified mobster. No doubt he is guilty of many injustices, so many that his inglorious death is deserved.
Except that is wasn't. Not under the standards of civilized warfare.
You see, when we point the finger at Qadaffi for being an oppressor, a murderer, a tyrant and a thief, we are really pointing the finger at all governments. Government is, after all, the one institution in society that has a monopoly on all socially acceptable violence: such as imprisoning people, torturing people (now legal in the U.S.), killing people (the death penalty and war) and, last but not least, forcing people to hand over their money (better known as taxation).
History has proven that when human beings, no matter how virtuous at the outset, are entrusted with such great power over others, they inevitably abuse it and become mobsters and thugs under the color of "law and order."
Murray Rothbard, an anarchist libertarian economist and author, once told a friend that the government was kind of like the Mob, except the Mob actually provided services that people wanted. He was closer to the truth than most would admit.
I am not an anarchist, and I find many libertarian ideas about, say, privatizing the justice system or the highway system or public education, to be ludicrous and unrealistic. I even think that government should play a larger role in regulating the distribution of health care so that all people can afford basic health care. Nonetheless, I harbor no illusions about the tendencies of government, nor do I consider politicians to be saints.
Our Founding Fathers wisely understood that concentrated power of any sort was dangerous, so they set up a constitutional federal system that spread power around as much as possible. A few of them, like Thomas Jefferson, argued also for maximized economic independence, which usually ensures political independence. If you can grow your own food, own your profits and own your land, you have little need for assistance or support from the "authorities." You are also less susceptible to be fooled by their promises of a better tomorrow if only you will support their programs and cockamamie ideas.
Too bad we didn't listen.
Qadhaffi was probably a liar, a thief, a cheat and a murderer, as we accuse him of being. What are we to say of our own leaders?
President Obama, our latest Fuhrer, has violated the Constitution routinely throughout his presidency. He has ordered the assassinations of two American citizens without trial. He launched the war in Libya undercover without informing the American people or Congress. Needless to say he did not proceed with a declaration of war, as the Constitution requires. His health care law, regarded as a high achievement of his presidency, is unconstitutional through and through. Nowhere in the Constitution is the federal government mandated to provide universal health care. Nowhere is it given the authority to force Americans to purchase health insurance.
Needless to say the president has continued two unconstitutional and unjustified wars, and has done nothing to seriously investigate the event the precipitated both wars: 9/11.
Is Obama really all that different from Qadhaffi? Isn't the question more of degree?
Obama gets away with his thuggish behavior only because he commands the largest military force in the entire globe. None dare to oppose him. Obama is the Godfather, the master Mob boss, if you will. The other bosses must bow to his whims.
Qadhaffi, rather than being simply assassinated undercover, was entitled to a fair and honorable meeting with his enemies, as well as just terms of surrender. He ought to have been sent away to a small cottage somewhere, perhaps on a small island, like Napoleon. He ought to have been allowed to defend himself and his regime before a candid world.
His killing, an act of bloodlust and vengeance, will do nothing to ease tensions in the Arab world. It will only increase the sense of many Arabs that they are being manipulated by hostile Western powers who hate them.
President Obama deserves not praise for his Libya adventure, but impeachment and removal from office.
Instead, half of the voting population will likely vote to re-elect Obama as their president next year. The other half will vote to replace him with a Republican who will only make the situation worse.
Some may call me cynical. I'd like to think I've learned an important lesson in my brief time on this Earth: government and politics are not humanity's salvation. The nature of power is to inspire corruption and deceit. Human beings can't handle it, "it" being the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
The State, contrary to the beliefs of many Christians, is not in league with God, seeking to do us all good. In truth, the State shares more in common with Satan, the Accuser. It is a grimly necessary reality because of Original Sin. It is not our salvation.
Why do otherwise intelligent people continue to believe, in spite of all evidence to the contrary, that government and politics can make life better for mankind? Why do we put so much effort, blood and toil into making it work? Why do we put so much faith in the government, but not in ourselves, or better yet, in Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit? Will we ever learn that the new boss will be the same as the old boss?
I don't get it.
Moammar Qadhaffi, rest in peace. I hope you found salvation and comfort in your final moments. I hope you genuinely repented of your many sins, and received the unconditional forgiveness of Christ Jesus. God rest your soul.
For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe. -- St. Paul, I Timothy 4:10
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Comments welcome, pro and con.