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Stand Up for the Libyans

5:54 PM, Feb 21, 2011 • By DANIEL HALPER
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The Wall Street Journal editorializes:

It's time for the West to drop its diplomatic neutrality and help the demonstrators topple one of the world's most loathsome regimes. With Gadhafi jamming media and the Internet, Western capitals should help to keep communications open inside the country. Benghazi is close to Egypt and badly in need of medical supplies and emergency aid, which could be brought across that border.

We'd go further and tell the Libyan armed forces that the West will bomb their airfields if they continue to slaughter their people. Arming the demonstrators also cannot be ruled out. The Libyan government is already blaming the protests on foreign help, and the protesters are facing a life or death struggle. The worst policy would be to encourage the demonstrators without giving them the tools to prevail….

Long before al Qaeda, Gadhafi was the Arab world's terrorist-in-chief. In April 1984, a gunman inside the Libyan embassy on St. James's Square in London opened fire on protesters, killing a British constable. The assassin was never identified. Two years later, Libyan agents bombed a discotheque in West Berlin, killing three and wounding 230, including 50 American servicemen. In 1988, Libyans blew up Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing 270 on board and on the ground.

Gadhafi had a change of heart after the U.S. toppled Saddam in 2003, ending his secret nuclear program and inviting Western capital to exploit oil resources that his own country lacks the means to develop. The U.S. and Britain leapt at the chance in far too unseemly a fashion.

Gadhafi's internal tyranny has never ceased, and in 2009 his government bullied the U.K. into releasing one of the Lockerbie bombers, Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, from a Scottish prison on bogus humanitarian grounds. He's still alive in Libya two years later. Some of the communications and military equipment that British companies have sold to Libya since the Megrahi deal might well have been deployed to kill Libyans in recent days.

It is hard to believe, but the Obama Administration seemed more eager to topple Egypt's Hosni Mubarak than it has Moammar Gadhafi, who has more American blood on his hands than anyone living other than Osama bin Laden. Now that the Libyan people are rising against him, they deserve active and tangible American support.

Whole thing here.

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