Wednesday, March 02, 2011

The Whole World Is Watching - Two

It appears that Libya is now in a civil war.

First, Tunisia. Next, Egypt. Then Bahrain. Yemen. Oman. Pirates in the Red Sea. Iran. Now Libya. Who - or what - is next?

At least Tunisia and Egypt happened with relatively little violence. Not to say there was none, but events happened in both countries in a way that not many expected. In Bahrain, continued protests have brought government forces out onto the streets to deal with them. The protests continue in spite of the government show of force.

The other countries I mentioned in the above line-up have also experienced protests in one form or another. Iran has squashed the activity inside its borders, casting a fairly large shadow over the rest of the region.

Somali Pirates hold a Danish family hostage. Published reports say that their yacht has anchored and they have been taken off and brought ashore in Somalia. Their ordeal, unfortunately for them, is only just beginning. If they are to be released alive, the price will be really high.

Now onto Libya. It is shaping up to be a really, really terrible situation. What was initially non-violent protest changed shape when the military got involved and has evolved into what is now turning into what is being described as civil war. And it is a descriptor that certainly appears to be accurate. As I write this, published reports of air strikes in the Libyan town of Al-Brega have happened against strongholds of rebel forces. There has been combat between these rebels and Libyan troops. And the city of Benghazi is also in the midst of fighting between government troops and rebel forces.

Additionally, I’m hearing reports of four U.S. soldiers shot at the Frankfurt International Airport. Two are dead and two are wounded. The shooter is in custody and is reported to be from Kosovo. The investigation is actively ongoing.

In trying to digest all of this news, I’m experiencing a number of different thoughts and feelings about it all. First, I have a hard time with all of this because it seems like there is no end to it. It is definitely not easy to process the information simply because of the amount that is being put out for public consumption. On an emotional level, I am experiencing a number of feelings at the same time: sadness, alarm, anger.

Libyan rebels are asking for military help from the U.S. and from NATO, in the form of establishing a no-fly zone over Libyan airspace. Gaddhafi is warning that if this happens, “thousands will die” because of it.

I remember years ago hearing Gaddhafi being described as a “clown.” It’s unfortunate that he wasn’t taken as seriously back then as he should have been. His actions now, quite frankly, are just plain horrible. They can also be seen as criminal acts. And if he survives this (personally, I’m not so sure he will) I would not be surprised if he is classified as a war criminal.

it would be so much easier if we could live in a vacuum. But that is not possible, and as hard as it is to watch world events, it is better to know what’s going on around you than to be ignorant about it all. And I would prefer not to be ignorant.


TOTWTYTR said...

Unlike Mubarek, Gadaffi has no where to run. He won't be welcome in the Arab world or Europe. Thus his only option is to fight and try to beat back the rebellion.

The US is likely to do nothing but talk and talk is not going to work. We don't even have the resources to establish a no fly zone right now.

There is going to be a lot of upheaval in the Middle East over the next months or even years. It's not very likely that regimes more friendly to US interests will emerge.

The world see that we have a weak and feckless President who will do nothing but talk, talk, talk. Nature abhors a vacuum of leadership and so someone will step in to be the "strong horse" in the middle east. Nations and groups that would be disinclined to test the US if we had a strong President will be emboldened to do so because we don't have a strong President.

Walt Trachim said...

I agree on all points, TOT. And I also believe that this will not end anytime soon.