FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
The Racist Revolt in Libya
Libya: It Is This Year's Selma
Now, with respect to our national interests, the American people and the United States have an interest, first of all, in making sure that where a brutal dictator is threatening his people and saying he will show no mercy and go door-to-door hunting people down, and we have the capacity under international sanction to do something about that, I think it’s in America’s international — in America’s national interest to do something about it.
To hear it from a wide variety of unlikely allies, the rather blatant effort engineered by the Obama Administration to oust the perpetual colonel, Muammar Qaddafi, from power in Tripoli will result in a dangerous tyrant being removed from power. This doesn’t seem to be playing out on the ground where the famous aphorism by Mather Byles, “Which is better – to be ruled by one tyrant three thousand miles away or by three thousand tyrants one mile away?” can be witnessed in all its glory.
Apparently mobs of US supported rebels are happily slaughtering Africans living in cities under their control.
About the time the Obama administration was making nervous noises about military intervention, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees was reporting:
“Yesterday a UNHCR team at the Egypt border interviewed a group of Sudanese who arrived from eastern Libya who said that armed Libyans were going door to door, forcing sub-Saharan Africans to leave. In one instance a 12-year-old Sudanese girl was said to have been raped,” Edwards said.
“They reported that many people had their documents confiscated or destroyed. We heard similar accounts from a group of Chadians who fled Benghazi, Al Bayda and Brega in the past few days,” he added.
These atrocities were not being carried out by an evil dictator, rather they were the work product of the people with whom the world’s greatest democracy has aligned itself.
Reporting from Benghazi, Libya-
The rebels of eastern Libya have found much to condemn about the police state tactics of Libyan leader Moammar Kadafi: deep paranoia, mass detentions, secret prisons and tightly scripted media tours.
But some of those same tactics appear to be creeping into the efforts of the opposition here as it seeks to stamp out lingering loyalty to Kadafi. Rebel forces are detaining anyone suspected of serving or assisting the Kadafi regime, locking them up in the same prisons once used to detain and torture Kadafi’s opponents.
For a month, gangs of young gunmen have roamed the city, rousting Libyan blacks and immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa from their homes and holding them for interrogation as suspected mercenaries or government spies.
Because of these pogroms directed against Africans living in Libya have started a deluge of refugees to flee into Niger, a country uniquely unready to accept them.
My objections to a Libyan intervention have been based on the total lack of any reason for us to do so. Libya has been a non-player on the world stage since about 1987, after getting thrashed in the Toyota War. He voluntarily relinquished his nuclear program. As to the ridiculous statement that “he has American blood on his hands” he is only a bit player in that regard.
Not only was there no reason for our intervention from any reason of national strategy we knew nothing about the people who we had decided to help. But none of that is important when you’re involved in a shooting war to prove that your predecessor was wrong:
One of the strongest voices in America for the idea of collective action to prevent war crimes is Samantha Power, a senior director at the National Security Council. In late 2006, Power told me that international humanitarian intervention had been “killed for a generation” by the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Then a professor at Harvard best known for her Pulitzer prize-winning history of America’s response to genocide (a book she wrote after covering the wars in Bosnia and Croatia and studying the genocide in Rwanda) Power was a strong believer in international intervention to prevent war crimes. Like many others, she was frustrated that the cause of preventing genocide had been undermined by George W. Bush’s unilateral intervention in Iraq, which discredited U.S. military action abroad and made building coalitions to stop war crimes seemingly impossible.
But the Libyan uprising gave the humanitarian interventionists an unexpected reprieve. The universal hatred of Gaddafi in the Arab world, Europe’s energy interests, fears of regional instability and the backdrop of Arab democratic uprisings provided interventionists in Washington unlikely allies at home and abroad. Power has argued from the start of the Libyan uprising that the U.S. needed to be prepared to intervene to prevent humanitarian atrocities. She was joined in this argument by Susan Rice, Obama’s ambassador to the United Nations who was in the Clinton administration during the Rwanda genocide. As early as February, a senior official told me, supporters of intervention were “laying the predicate” for military force.
Well, now we do know something about the people we are helping. They are brutal. They practice systematic rape and oppression as a means of expelling blacks from Libya – one of the many charming things about the Arab world. They are supported by al Qaeda. In fact, they are demonstrably worse than the man we’re struggling to depose.
Now explain, again, why we are helping them.