It might now be too late – Gaddafi’s made too many gains while the world twiddled its metaphorical thumbs – but clearly, unless you’re a supporter of Gaddafi, the UN decision to act is at least a step in the right direction.
The weird thing is that last weekend, our foreign minister’s efforts to lobby for such a thing were viewed by the national media solely through the prism of whether it represented conflict between him and the Prime Minister; or derided as some sort of “vanity project”. To some of these prominent hacks, the idea of considering it on its bloody merits – that it might be something that’s important in and of itself, apparently never occurred. As I tweeted during Sunday’s Insiders, as they went back and forth on Libya as nothing more than a supposed dispute between Rudd and Gillard:
Jesus, they can’t consider that trying to organise a no-fly zone in Libya is actually the right thing to do? FFS #insiders
One journalist offered a sort-of apology to Rudd yesterday (it’s the tiny bit after all the justifications for why the personality crap is still considered more important). The others – I don’t think they’ve learned a thing.
Pity – because aside from the last couple of weeks’ inaction making the removal of Gaddafi now very unlikely, it’s also been emboldening other tyrants in the region. They saw what happened in Tunisia, and Egypt – and what happened in Libya, where increasing the bloodshed didn’t induce much of a reaction from the rest of the world at all. Hence Bahrain. And, this morning, Yemen.
The government in Bahrain thinks it can get away with importing Saudi troops to massacre protesters. The government in Yemen thinks it can put snipers on buildings and open fire on crowds.
Why would they think they can get away with such a thing? Why would they think the rest of the world will turn a blind eye?