Victor Davis Hanson asks:
The Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya should be one of the richest countries in the world. The ratio between its size (twice that of Texas) and population (about that of Indiana) should have resulted in untold per capita wealth, in the fashion of Norway. Add in its vast petroleum reserves (the sheer size of which is still not quite known), long beautiful coastline, proximity to Europe, and stunning Roman antiquities (among the best in the world), and compare that to its current desolation and poverty, and the full extent of the nightmarish five decades of Qaddafi becomes clear. And then we must factor in the global misery Qaddafi has wrought with his support of terrorism and assassination abroad.
In other words, with Libyans in full revolt, it is hard to understand why someone has not provided them aid to slay this monster, particularly because, while we do not know what follows, we can assume (a) it will be hard to be worse than Qaddafi, and (b) to the degree that we show some empathy and support in ridding the world of this thug, we might have an iota more influence with the succeeding government than we otherwise might have by our present hands-off policy…
Hanson then notes that we’re not just being spineless with Libya’s tyrant, but we’re also truckling to the mullahs of Iran and Syria’s bestial regime. Seems that there isn’t a tyrant out there we won’t coddle, nor an ally we won’t insult. But really, the answer to “why” is right in Hanson’s first sentence: “The Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya”. Yes, that is what Qaddafi calls his country – no one knows what “Jamahiriya” really means, so rather than try to translate it in to English, it is left at that. Meanwhile, his official title is “Brotherly Leader and Guide of the Revolution”. To someone like Obama and the people who staff his Administration, there is just no way for them to get around the words – Libya is socialist. Its people’s! Heck its even Jamahiriya!! There must be something good going on there – come on, the guy in charge is a brotherly guide! His people must love him if they call him that!
And, seriously, that is the level of thinking on the left. What, you don’t believe me? Then how come our left in the 60’s was agog over the National Liberation Front in Vietnam? They weren’t liberating anything – and even if you want to say the Saigon regime was bad, how can anyone say its successor was better? How come the left welcomed each new version of the “People’s Democratic Republic” of whatever as the latest and best dispensation for mankind? They were all, without exception, ruled by brutes and swiftly became inhuman sewers…but the left kept the flame lit because of the words the regimes would use to describe themselves. That is all that matters to the left – use the right words and you can get away with bloody murder.
The left hated Spain’s Franco so much that they’ve spent a lot of time going through Spain to eliminate all references to him in public…even making it illegal to have a memorial plaque for any Nationalist veterans of the Spanish Civil war. The left hated Chile’s Pinochet so much that they seriously tried to indict him when he was an aged, dying man. So, what was the difference between Franco and Castro? Between Pinochet and Ho Chi Minh? Well, aside from the fact that Franco and Pinochet were less bloodthirsty and oppressive, not much…and the left would still have loved Franco and Pinochet had the two men been clever enough to call their regimes “people’s republics” and themselves “General Secretary” or “Revolutionary Guide”.
Obama and Co simply don’t know what to do when a Revolutionary Guide starts massacring people in public (the left never has a problem with massacres in private when done by people who use the correct terminology). They know that people really shouldn’t be gunned down in the streets (at least, not on television, especially when its early enough in the news cycle that people will expect a Presidential comment), but they are at a loss for what to actually do about it – fight a revolutionary, socialist regime? The only way out for them is if another group comes along saying they are even more revolutionary and socialist than the guys they’re trying to oust. If the Libyan rebels will name themselves “The Ultra-Socialist People’s Double Revolutionary Vanguard”, they might get some help from Obama.
As for what to do about it – deal with it, fellow Americans. Obama is President until at least January 20th, 2013…and this sort of ignorance will govern our affairs until that time.