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Posted by on Aug 22, 2009 in International, Politics, Society | 10 comments

Lockerbie ‘Suspect’s’ Release Reflects Strength of Civilization: Trouw, The Netherlands

As it has in the United States, Scotland’s release of convicted Lockerbie bomber Abdel Basset al-Megrahi on the grounds of ‘compassion’ is sparking controversy in Europe.

Much of the debate revolves around the issue of which is more valid: European ‘compassion’ vs. American ‘revenge’.

This editorial from Trouw of The Netherlands frames the issue this way:

“The American families of the victims and the U.S. administration insist that Megrahi should have remained in this cell until the end. … This expressed desire for revenge is much stronger in American judicial culture than it is in Europe. This is also reflected in the American use of capital punishment.

Later, discussing why Europeans are more lenient than Americans, the editorial says in part:

“These are dramatic decisions that are painful for many. But allowing such offenders to go home to die is a sign of strength. It is a gesture that shows how the civilization that the condemned sought to undermine has proven stronger than they are.”

EDITORIAL

Translated By Meta Mertens

August 21, 2009

The Netherlands – Trouw – Original Article (Dutch)

The release of the Libyan Abdel Basset al-Megrahi is remarkable. It’s not often that a convicted mass murderer is set free. In 2001, Megrahi was found guilty for participating in the 1988 attack on a Pan-Am Boeing aircraft that killed 270 people.

His conviction depended primarily on circumstantial evidence. In Malta, Megrahi is said to have purchased the clothing in which the bomb was wrapped. Megrahi – and Libya – have always denied involvement.

READ ON AT WORLDMEETS.US, your most trusted translator and aggregator of foreign news and views about our nation.

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  • shannonlee

    “It is a gesture that shows how the civilization that the condemned sought to undermine has proven stronger than they are.”

    Yes, lets use this logic and let everyone go free. By opening our jails, we are proving that we are stronger than they are….or maybe we are proving that you can kill a couple hundred people and we won’t punish you.

    This man is a convicted mass murderer, not some poor muslim who we just bombed out of half their family and their home.

    Revenge has nothing to do with it.

    • panglossnotes

      I’d say revenge has everything to do with American bombast and bluster over Scotland’s human action.

    • joeinhell

      Uh, shannolee, you might just go to wikipedia.org and read up on “Cubana Flight 455,” please pay particular attention to Bosch and Carriles. Do a little research and find out who they worked for, please?

  • superdestroyer

    This shows everyone the one way street of progressive thinking. When President Bush did something that the elites of Europe did not like, the claim was always raised that the U.S. was losing credibility with Europe. But now that Scotland does a stupid act meant to spit in the face of Americans, no progressives are worried about how European actions will be seen in the U. S.

    From the Germany’s refusal to punish the Olympic terrorist to Greece’s acceptance of palestenian terrorist operating in their country. Europe was always been willing to let Muslim terrorist to kill Americans and get away with it.

  • onleyone

    oookay– while i’m generally anti-execution/death penalty – more because of its finality given exceptional cases of innocence than in overall principle – i do think people should be held responsible for their actions. and i do believe that being restricted to a prison where they feed you and provide health care gratis – up until the end of your natural life, however long or short it may be – is not too cruel and unusual a punishment for someone with 200 deaths on their hands.

    the man is a convicted murderer. showing compassion in such a case should mean no more than making his life in confinement tolerable, right up to and including the end– right up to a predictable death, not the kind his victims went to.

    was his trial unfair or suspect? you’d only know from what libya was saying. they’d have given him a fair trial, right? oh yeah, you bet!

    selflessness is all well and good in everyday circumstance, and when practiced among those who understand it. but violent fundamentalists of all stripes often misinterpret turning the other cheek as an act of weakness. sad, but true. i think scotland’s move is naive and pointless.

    but that’s just me.

  • rudi

    Let the man die at home. However, the parade in front of Libyan leaders is just plain disgusting. Scotland should have made the release contingent on the Libyans not using this for spin/propaganda…

    • onleyone

      Rudi:

      “Let the man die at home. However, the parade in front of Libyan leaders is just plain disgusting. Scotland should have made the release contingent on the Libyans not using this for spin/propaganda…”

      obviously, the man will be dying at home. but i’m afraid it’s pearls before swine in this kind of situation. gangsters – or terrorists – or whatever the word we might use for ’em – that type will always interpret a turn of the cheek as an invitation to strike the other one as well. pearls before swine.

  • onleyone

    whoops! rusty on my HTML there. but you get the drift.

  • onleyone

    joeinhell:

    and so, because the CIA worked with venezuelan terrorists, then … oh wait, are you making an argument? perhaps that two wrongs make a right? that’s an old one, isn’t it?

  • shannonlee

    I said this in another thread on this issue….

    If he didn’t do it…he should be cleared of all charges and set free.
    If he did it…he should die in jail.

    There is no middle ground. Guilty or not guilty. If there is reasonable doubt…he should be set free, but not like this.

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