February 21, 2011

CHANGE: Gaddafi loyalists launch attacks against civilians as conflict in Libya escalates.

UPDATE: Reader Andy Pollack writes:

As we learn of Gaddafi’s violence against peaceful civilian protesters, let us not forget that the United Nation General Assembly voted in 2010 to give Libya a seat on the Human Rights Council.

It will also be interesting to compare the media coverage of Libya’s latest atrocities to coverage of Israel’s 2008 Cast Lead Operation, in which Israel attacked the terrorist group Hamas for its buildup of arms and attacks on Israeli civilians. Would anyone care to wager that the media will give Libya a more distant, hands-off treatment?

And I would expect that the UN’s reaction to the situation in Libya will be more muted than it was to Operation Cast Lead in 2008.

Safe bet.

ANOTHER UPDATE: A Libyan Experiment:

The United States supported Mubarak’s government in Egypt for several decades, militarily and otherwise. Now, the frequently anti-American tone of Egypt’s rebels is often attributed to that support. Many commentators argue that the U.S.’s support of Mubarak was short-sighted, and that it will be our own fault if the government that ultimately emerges in Cairo is anti-American.

Perhaps so. But if that theory is correct, shouldn’t we see a different result right next door, in Libya? The U.S. has never supported Gaddafi; on the contrary, we tried to assassinate him at least once. So does that increase the likelihood that the rebels who detest Gaddafi will be friendly to America when some combination of them take power? On its face, that makes sense; one can draw an analogy to Eastern Europe, where the governments that took power upon the collapse of the Soviet Union were almost uniformly pro-American.

Well, stay tuned.

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