Arab Springtime For Hitler?

Is that headline too harsh? Perhaps. But what are we to make of a crowd of Libyans, many of them armed, who attacked the Benghazi War Cemetery, desecrating the graves of more than 150 British servicemen who were killed in World War II, and smashing crosses and other non-Islamic religious symbols?

A year ago they begged for Britain’s help when Colonel Gaddafi’s tanks encircled their city, threatening annihilation. Now former Libyan rebels in Benghazi – liberated with the aid of the RAF last March – have systematically desecrated the graves of more than 150 British servicemen killed in North Africa 70 years ago.

Headstones at the Benghazi War Cemetery have been torn down and crucifixes smashed with hammers by a mob of extremists, some carrying guns and dressed in combat fatigues. …

Sickeningly, the attack, which was carried out over two days last week and appeared highly organised, was filmed by one of the men involved and posted on the internet. As they rampage among the graves, members of the mob are heard to repeatedly say of the dead servicemen: ‘They are dogs, they are dogs.’

Footage shows the mob methodically kicking down grave after grave. Some are then smashed with hammers. ‘Destroy that cross, they are dogs,’ cries one hooded rebel. Another voice is heard saying: ‘We begin with this one then we’ll take care of that other one. We won’t leave any left.’

A few seconds later another extremist says: ‘This tomb has a cross on it – a disbeliever.’

As they discover a Jewish grave bearing the Star of David, one of the men says: ‘Look at what it says on it. There is even Israeli writing . . . in Hebrew.’

And in one of the most disturbing sequences, one protester attaches a ladder to the Cross of Remembrance next to the cemetery. He climbs up it and begins hacking at the memorial with a hammer. Then he shouts: ‘Watch out young people. It’s going to fall.’ The cross is then smashed off.

Here is the video; this version lacks sound:

The Libyan government has deplored the cemetery attack, but as you can see from the video, this was not a case of vandalism carried out under cover of night by a handful of thugs, but rather a semi-official political act involving armed Libyans and a large crowd of bystanders.

Predictably, the British government was unable to acknowledge the reality of Islamic aggression:

The Libyan government has been “extremely apologetic” about the desecration of British war graves in the eastern city of Benghazi, a Foreign Office Minister said. …

But he said the attacks were not aimed particularly at Britain or Christians….

This is a ludicrous claim, as you can plainly see from the video.

Mr Browne told the programme: “There is an appalling story and people will be shocked by the photos. My grandfather’s generation were truly heroic in that part of Africa in the Second World War and I think people will be shocked by what they see.

“It is worth saying the Libyan authorities themselves are shocked too. We have had direct dealings with them. They have been extremely apologetic and made a very strong commitment they will get to the bottom of this happening. They will try and do everything they can to resolve it.

“My understanding it is not just British graves or just Christian graves that have been desecrated, there is wider desecration taking place. …

This is true, to the limited extent that Jewish tombstones were also destroyed. My guess is that if we ever get more information about the “wider desecration” referred to by the Foreign Office, we will not find it particularly reassuring.

Notice: All comments are subject to moderation. Our comments are intended to be a forum for civil discourse bearing on the subject under discussion. Commenters who stray beyond the bounds of civility or employ what we deem gratuitous vulgarity in a comment — including, but not limited to, “s***,” “f***,” “a*******,” or one of their many variants — will be banned without further notice in the sole discretion of the site moderator.