Monday, February 21, 2011

live ammunition, heavy artillery fire, and air strikes

Hundreds if not thousands of people have been killed in Libya at the behest of the Gaddafi government. Amidst revolt in the military there, live ammunition, heavy artillery fire, and air strikes have been used against gathered demonstrators. At the same time, reports about that Gaddafi has tried to flee the country. There are also remarkable stories of some high-level pilots (colonels) fleeing to Malta and sharing their intelligence with authorities, saying they were not willing to bomb their own people.

I can't help but wonder, and I can't help but hope at a trying time like this. If not these particular events in Libya, could what's happening now in the Middle East and in the world represent a fundamental shift in how nations relate to each other? An increase in ability "the people" to be heard, and to act, against oppression? Could this signal the emergence of a new kind of empowerment; a new humanity in which voices, so long as they are connected to the world, can be magnified like never before, leading to the remarkably quick collapse of dictatorships? And, moreover, does this mark the end of the "western model" of capitalistic conquest: support of democracy in pratice only when it suits your business end, with the actual support of the autocratic, oppressive state going unsaid? Can such things go unsaid anymore?

What will happen now? Will Turkey-style governments arise? How will the West react, in particular Italy, who receives 1/5th of its oil from Libya, and has worked with the Gaddafi regime to enforce borders so immigration into Italy does not occur? What about Obama? He is President in this amazing time, but in the past day or so, he has remained silent on the massacre and the incredible shift going on in Libya. Is this story one that will be written from the bottom up?

The wikihistory book pages of the future may agree...

The Gates of Hell Have Opened in Tripoli

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