Harvard political “scientist” Stephen Walt – co-author of “The Israel Lobby” – had this to say about Libya approximately one year ago:
Although Libya is far from a democracy, it also doesn’t feel like other police states that I have visited. I caught no whiff of an omnipresent security service—which is not to say that they aren’t there. . . . The Libyans with whom I spoke were open and candid and gave no sign of being worried about being overheard or reported or anything like that. . . . I tried visiting various political websites from my hotel room and had no problems, although other human rights groups report that Libya does engage in selective filtering of some political websites critical of the regime. It is also a crime to criticize Qaddafi himself, the government’s past human rights record is disturbing at best, and the press in Libya is almost entirely government-controlled. Nonetheless, Libya appears to be more open than contemporary Iran or China and the overall atmosphere seemed far less oppressive than most places I visited in the old Warsaw Pact. . . .
The remarkable improvement in U.S.-Libyan relations reminds us that deep political conflicts can sometimes be resolved without recourse to preventive war or “regime change.” One hopes that the United States and Libya continue to nurture and build a constructive relationship, and that economic and political reform continues there. (I wouldn’t mind seeing more dramatic political reform—of a different sort—here too).
How about this reform? How about blinkered bigoted fools like Walt lose their tenure at Harvard? [Why don’t they abolish the term “political science” into the bargain?-ed. Good idea.]