In the Wall Street Journal, Elliott Abrams explains Muammar Qaddafi – and our dealings with “mad dog”:
The man Ronald Reagan called "the mad dog of the Middle East" is living up to that title these days, launching bloody assaults on his own population and reminding us of why we hated him for so long. Moammar Gadhafi is the man behind the bomb that brought down Pan Am flight 103 in 1988, killing 270 people (190 Americans). He is also behind the 1986 bombing of the La Belle discotheque in Berlin, killing several Americans and wounding 229 people. By the time Reagan left office, we had a total trade ban on Libya and had, in response to the attack on La Belle, bombed targets near Tripoli and Benghazi.
Two decades later we have come full circle, watching Gadhafi on TV with horror. On Tuesday he said "I call on those who love Moammar Gadhafi, who represents glory . . . to come out of your houses and attack" the anti-regime demonstrators. He would not resign, he said, because "Moammar Gadhafi is not the president, he is not a normal human being."
That is clear, but for most of the past decade we made believe he was.
Whole thing here.
Meanwhile, as violence continues in Libya, the United Nations Security Council will meet today to consider drafting a “proposal for sanctions.” The New York Times reports:
Gunfire was reported during protests by thousands of people in Tripoli, even as international efforts to stem the bloodshed in Libya appeared to gain momentum on Friday, with the United Nations Security Council scheduled to meet to discuss a draft proposal for sanctions against Libyan leaders.
In at least three neighborhoods of the capital, gunfire was reported after worshippers left Friday prayers in the early afternoon, with security forces acting either to disperse protesters gathering to march on the streets, or to deliberately target them. Some witnesses, in telephone interviews with news services, said that several people had been wounded and killed. With access to journalists limited, it was impossible to independently verify these reports.