I saw the most extraordinary thing yesterday during lunch.
It was a CNN piece on a Libyan man who was fighting against Ghaddafi’s forces. He and his friends were trying to get into some government barracks and he realized they had no chance.
So he, a humble oil worker, husband, and father, loaded his car up with a bunch of explosives and drove it into the barracks. He killed many and acheived the goal of opening the gate and causing the government types to flee.
CNN lauded him as a hero.
And perhaps he is, but I’m troubled.
Ghaddafi is, or at least was until just recently, recognized as Libya’s ruler. He has been for decades. Suddenly, after the events in Egypt, Libyans decided it was time for him to step down. So they started revolting, and now it’s o.k. to kill government troops in the name of freedom using suicide bombing.
What I mean by “ok” is CNN talking about it with the word HERO on the screen.
The only thing I could think of while watching this is how pissed a lot of Palestinians might have been if they saw that piece. They sacrifice themselves for their own freedom (that’s their perspective, anyway) using suicide bombing and they’re universally called terrorists by the west. But someone does something strikingly similar in Libya and he’s a hero.
I’m not saying the two situations are identical, but they’re sure as hell similar enough that CNN should think twice about using the word “hero” for one and not the other. ::