Posted by on February 23, 2011 in Blog
It is perfectly expected that leaders who have long held absolute and unopposed power over their country and people would, overtime, get a warped view of the world. The disconnect between Hosni Mubarak's speeches, particularly his last as President, and reality out on the streets of Cairo was a case in point. But when push came to shove, and the country stood between complete destabilization and the removal of a President, people around Mubarak were sufficiently coherent to choose country over President.
This doesn't appear to be the case with Libya's Muammar Gaddafi. Push has come to shove in Libya, and Gaddafi has been allowed to choose sheer chaos, bombing demonstrators with the air force, hiring foreign mercenaries to brutalize protesters, and causing widespread defections in the army. The death toll is estimated to have crossed 1000, and there doesn't seem to be anyone able to bluntly place the full weight of reality over Gaddafi's completely delusional understanding of his relationship to his country and the need for him to step down. The borderline lunacy of his latest defiant speech would be funny if it didn't indicate that bloodier days are ahead for Libya.
So far, countless Libyan diplomats broke with the regime and called on Gaddafi to step down, the Arab League suspended Libya's membership due to its mass violence against demonstrators, and the UN Security Council condemned such violence and called for those responsible to be held accountable. Discussions are continuing in the Security Council with the hope that a "No Fly Zone" can be placed on the country to curtail Gaddafi's ability to wage war on the Libyan people. With virtually no individual country holding considerable leverage over the Libyan regime, let's hope the international community can collectively facilitate a response from the Security Council that results in meaningful steps to support the Libyan people.