Certainly, these rebels kill, and they die. But it is not like they mean to, except they mean to be free. And being ready to fight and die...well, they must wonder, "Shouldn't that be enough?"
No doubt, this helps to account for the lack of savagery in this conflict. It is though neither side has wanted to do great damage, but only enough to make the other side go away.
It is NATO who has brought the savagery to this fight, with their air strikes and Tomahawk missiles turning city sectors into flame and rubble. At those times, the rebels seemed to lower their guns, look up in awe, and like children at a fireworks display, cry out for more.
And then it was over: Victory, crystallized in the face of a fighter who had breached Qaddafi's compound. He came out wearing one of Qaddafi's caps. It was the "the Colonel's" cap he wore, the one the world had seen on the head of the strongman, himself, many times before. Now the newly-bedecked rebel, bathed in sunlight, stands before the battered compound smiling.
Looking at him reminds me of the day my son, Thomas, who was only nine, caught such a fish - it was half as long as he. Holding it as high as he could, he looked up the hill at me and smiled. Twenty years later, that same proud, full-of-the-moment smile is worn by a rebel half a world away.
For me, that rebel is the face of that motley bunch now - he who never, ever wanted to harm a single soul - who just wanted to be free.
Bless you, young man - you and that splendid cap. Bless you all.