Real Life Badasses: The Libyan Fighter Pilots Who Said No

Two Libyan fighter pilots refused orders to fire on their revolutionary countrymen. They’re you’re heroes for the day.

The winds of change are blowing in the Middle East. Hopefully we’re looking at something similar to the last days of the Soviet Union, and not another Iranian revolution that puts religious fanatics in thrones vacated by despots, but whatever the outcome it’s exciting to watch people rise up using modern technology to organize their revolt.

The latest nation to be gripped with unrest is Libya, our old enemy turned complacent friend. Reminding us of why he’s such a hateful douchebag, Moammar Gadhafi has ordered gunships to open fire on his own citizens. Except that some heroes understand that the bravest thing you can do is refuse.

Two Libyan jets made an unexpected landing in Malta today, first asking for refueling but then asking for political asylum. The two pilots had received orders to fire on protesters and refused, fleeing to the nearby nation. That takes some serious guts, and their brand of resistance is inspirational. The worst evils in the world have happened because otherwise decent people were just following orders; military systems work to quash any individual thinking so that orders - no matter how immoral - are carried out without question. The scale may not always be as massive as Nazi Germany, but the result is always essentially the same - the dehumanization of the soldier and the degradation of the nation.

Today’s biggest heroes are these two pilots who refused to do something wrong. That’s pretty badass.

via AP