The comparative mythologist, Joseph Campbell, once commented on a striking feature of modern propaganda:
‘It’s been largely based on denigrating somebody over there and saying we’ve got to go in and knock them out. The main awakening of the human spirit is in compassion and the main function of propaganda is to suppress compassion, knock it out. Well, it’s in public journalism all the time now, too.’ (Campbell, The Hero’s Journey, HarperSanFrancisco, 1991, p.220)
‘Those who are hurt by others in return for the goodness they show them, yet, despite this, still act beneficially towards them, are the finest humans in the world: people who can return good for bad.’ (Gampopa, Gems of Dharma, Jewels of Freedom, Altea, 1994, p.155)
Does anyone doubt that a Jesus or a Buddha would not merely have harboured sympathy for Gaddafi but would have intervened to save his life? And who would dare claim that doing so would make them ‘apologists’ for tyranny?