Friday, July 15, 2011

Hope and Change in Libya

As of today, the Qaddafi regime is no longer recognized by the United States and more than 30 other nations as the legitimate government of Libya. This potentially frees up billions of dollars of Libyan assets for use by the Transitional National Council, which is now the officially internationally recognized government of Libya. That means we should stop calling them the rebels. Now we should start referring to Qaddafi's discredited government as the rebels. or perhaps as the pretend government. It's interesting that while the media and the American public are so focused on the ongoing budget showdown going on in Washington, the really interesting and perhaps more important story going on behind the scenes has involved the administration's diplomatic dialogue particularly with Russia, but also other nations, paving the way for today's announcement in Turkey.

Nobody needs to point out that we still have work to do to get Qaddafi to recognize reality and leave, but clearly his days are numbered. Perhaps we can say the same about the illegitimate governing regime in Syria. It might be useful to do a tally of the number of dictators that have been removed since President Obama has taken office, and the cost of such dictator removal, as compared to the record of the previous administration. The Obama administration has shown that it doesn't necessarily take a massive invasion and occupation to accomplish the purpose. It takes a popular movement, encouragement by the international community, and sometimes some significant outside military assistance.

(Reuters photo from New York Times)

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