Tuesday, February 22, 2011

From Protest to Genocide in Libya

Yesterday was the day Muammar Qaddafi crossed the line from repression to genocide.  Yesterday was the day he ordered the Libyan  air force to attack thousands of unarmed protesters and  at least two pilots flew their planes to the island of Malta and asked for asylum instead. 

Yesterday was also the day an amateur video surfaced on YouTube that showed the charred remains  of Libyan soldiers who refused to fire on their fellow citizens. They were burned to a crisp in their barracks for their  scruples.  I saw it first on the Al Jazeera English live feed    It's pretty graphic and profoundly shocking.

 That same feed showed various Libyan ambassadors quitting their posts and  various Libyan expats calling for the ouster of the regime.  Ibrahim Dabbashi,  deputy ambassador to the UN publicly pleaded with Qadddafi to step down and begged the international community to intervene.

There are two possible responses by a despotic regime to a threat to its power.  We saw one in Iran last year and another recently in Tunisia and Egypt.  The sad fact is, that with enough force, a brutal regime like that of Iran, can put down any uprising and it looks like Qaddafi is willing to do whatever it takes to hang on. Qaddafi is not only a dictator, he is a  psychopath-- brutal and wily. We are only now seeing the true face of the regime and the evil that the nation of Libya has been living with for more than forty years.

There is not much time.  Things are unfolding very quickly.  Yesterday the situation moved from protest to genocide.  If the civilized world does not intervene in some meaningful way, who knows what tomorrow will bring.

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