I’ve had a few inquiries regarding my thoughts on the events transpiring in Libya. I’ve been more concerned, frankly, with events in Wisconsin, among other travesties. But Libya is an important story as dominoes continue to fall in Africa and the Middle East, and as other countries face the threat of similar revolutions.
First of all, I don’t have the same rosy view that some commentators do, as they rejoice in the ascendancy of what they call democracy. As I noted in previous posts about Egypt, just because people may choose their own governments, that doesn’t mean they will make good choices, particularly when they have never had much practice at self-government. That will be even more difficult in a region dominated by Islam where extremists are poised to conquer.
For Libya in particular, though, I have no qualms in seeing Moammar Gadhafi toppled from power. He has been a brutal ruler from the time he staged a military coup roughly forty years ago. In his earlier years, he was the primary sponsor of terrorism. That’s why Reagan sent the bombers to Libya in 1986. He hoped to strike Gadhafi directly; he just missed. The attack did make an impression, though, as Gadhafi backed off on some of his terrorism sponsoring at the time.
Reagan’s comment about Gadhafi is still worth quoting: “He’s not only a barbarian, he’s flaky.” Truer words were never spoken about the monster in question.
Therefore, I will rejoice to see him fall. Yet I will be wary of what replaces him. It’s never enough simply to remove a tyrant. Sometimes, a worse tyrant arises to take his place. Is it at all possible he might retain his power? It will take some fancy maneuvering:
Does anyone think that will work?