Muammar Gaddafi doesn’t exactly remind you of Jesus. So you can imagine my surprise when I opened up my inbox on April 4 and saw that Ray Comfort, a star in the evangelical world as co-host of The Way of the Master with Kirk Cameron, sent out a short piece titled, “What You May Not Know About Gaddafi.” What followed was what amounted to a press release for that lovable, grandpa-like Libyan dictator who, Comfort apparently believes, is being given a bad shake.
“He [Gaddafi] then promoted non-violent protests and said he believed that if a leader lost the popularity of his own people, he should peacefully step down. He also considered himself to be one of the people, and that’s why he preferred to be called ‘colonel’ rather than ‘general,’” Comfort writes.
With spin like that, Comfort could make a nice living as a freelance propagandist for every rogue leader around the world. Every single headline out of Libya since February 15 discredits this characterization of Gaddafi. He is a dictator, though Comfort does not call him that, and he has decided that it is worth subjecting his country to civil war and destruction to continue being one. The only way he has “promoted non-violent protests” is by instigating them with his bloodthirsty and power-hungry rule.
Facts absent from Comfort’s piece include Gaddafi’s role as a leading state sponsor of terrorism in the 1980s that included killing Americans, most notably in the 1988 Lockerbie bombing and the 1986 bombing of a disco in Berlin. He has ruthlessly slaughtered his own people at home and has sent assassins to hunt down his enemies abroad. He reacted to this year’s popular uprising with brutality — even machine-gunning mourners at his victims’ funerals. “Peacefully stepping down” is not an option for him. The U.S. alone has frozen $33 billion of his regime’s assets, money that could have helped alleviate the poverty of his people but instead went to fund the lavish lifestyle of Gaddafi and his inner circle.