An 8.29 story in the French-language edition of Le Figaro says Muammar Qadaffi is hiding out in Bani Walid, a mid-sized town with an airport about 100 km southeast of Tripoli. Once he’s captured, the Libyan rebels need to dramatize the former dictator’s status to Libyan citizens. Bring him back to Tripoli and slowly drive him around the city inside a bulletproof, hard-plastic cage. Make it clear that he’s over.

Didn’t the Romans do this with defeated foes, forcing them to walk through the streets in chains, etc.? Same difference. The Romans weren’t animals. They knew that such acts of theatre were satisfying and therapeutic for the citizenry.

If Osama bin Laden had been captured instead of killed and someone with my mentality had been running things, he would have been put on parade in front of Manhattan residents. Sitting inside the same impenetrable plastic cage, he would have moved slowly down Fifth Avenue from 72nd Street to 8th Street, maybe with some hay spread around the cage floor to emphasize the tamed-animal metaphor. People could have hissed and booed and thrown eggs and vegetables, and a lot of people would have known closure.