The brute force approach to popular uprisings is now being tried in earnest in Libya. In using artillery, aircraft and navy on peaceful protesters Colonel Gaddafi is attempt to break the protest movements with massive violence.
If he is successful, this type of violent response to popular uprising will almost certainly be used elsewhere with all the terrible consequences for humanity. If he fails and is hopefully executed for his war crimes, the reigning powers around the world will favor more peaceful methods of resolving contradictions.
Colonel Gaddafi is not the only head of state that counts human life cheap. What he has been doing this week using large caliber military weapons against unarmed civilians, US Presidents do as a matter of course, week in and week out. This week US air assaults on the Afghan village of Heelgal killed 64 civilians including many children according to Afghan President Karzai. It was hardly noticed because the spot light is on the innocent blood being spilled by Gaddafi this week and because, with an estimated 8 million civilians killed by the US military since the Korean War, US presidents using military power on civilians isn't exactly news.
When Secretary of State Clinton made the rounds on the TV talk shows Sunday morning talking about events in Libya and complaining that it is wrong to turn to violence to solve political problems, most of the world knew they were listening to a hypocrite. The United States has led the world in using massive violence to resolve political problems.
Nor am I implying that the other world leaders are any less squeamish in applying massive violence if it will resolve their political problems. What I am saying is that the abhorrence for Gaddafi's violence that has been displayed by most world leaders, including our own, is mostly for public consumption.
They know that we are facing a world economic crisis of historic proportions. It's root cause is a world economy that has been organized to benefit a select handful at the expense of the majority. This system has insurmountable internal contradiction that can not be solve unless the rich and powerful are dispossessed and the world economy is re-organized to benefit the world.
They are having none of that. They will fight that with their last dying breath. The other day an Indiana Official suggested that peaceful protesters in Wisconsin be shot. They are like Gaddafi on a world scale in that they would sooner bring disaster and suffering for all rather than give up their privilege.
In Tunisia the general of the army refused to use massive violence on the protesters and the revolution succeeded in ousting the dictator. In Egypt the junior officers refused to open fire with their tanks and the revolution succeeded in ousting the dictator. And while all the leaders of the US, UK and EU are now claiming to welcome and even champion these popular democratic movements, it is a sham. That's not why they have supported these dictators all these years.
If massive violence can contain the wave of mass rebellions that now has reached even the state house in Wisconsin, they won't mind the bloodshed. They just haven't had the opportunity yet. Gaddafi gives them that opportunity.
That is why they have so far been so anemic in their response to Gaddafi. They secretly want him to succeed. They are hoping he will succeed and they won't act until it is clear to all [as is quickly becoming the case] that he has failed. You can count on it. If he can put a lid on things, restore the status quo and with it, the oil flow, they may put him back on the pariah list but they will allow him to stand and continue to do business with him.
This is a test and fate or history has selected the Libyan people to take it. But all of us will be drastically affected by the outcome. The unarmed Libyan protesters that have braved machine gun, anti-aircraft and artillery fire to take many of Gaddafi's fortresses around the country are giving their all, their very lives in many cases, to show that even massive violence won't stop the people's movement forward.
If Gaddafi's violence fails Governor Scott will negotiate with the demonstrators in the Wisconsin state house, if it succeeds he will send in the police. If Gaddafi's violence succeeds, many more will die in Yemen and Bahrain and everywhere else that people resist tyranny. If he fails, the powers that be everywhere on the planet will be less likely to follow his lead and try and massive violence approach.
Those brave Libyans who fate chose to brave machine gun fire to win their freedom are braking that machine gun fire for all of us.
Here are the links to my articles at WL Central:
2011-02-24 Arming Gaddfi
2011-02-14 Senior Egyptian army officers ordered massacre
2011-02-13 Tales of Tyrants: Ben Ali, Mubarak & Suleiman
2011-02-12 Algeria Protesters Defy Ban, Demand Change
The Mubarak Screw Up & the Suleiman Danger
2011-02-10 Mubarak is Defiant
2011-02-10 Mubarak Expected to Step Down!
2011-02-09 The Google Search for Wael Ghonim
2011-02-08 The New Egyptian Normal: Thousands Demonstrate in Cairo, Alexandria
2011-02-06 Tunisia's Revolution Continues
2011-02-04 Tunisian Anonymous activists take on Egyptian cause
2011-02-04 Protesters roar back with "Day of Departure" for Mubarak
2011-02-03 Algerians plan Feb 12 protest against 19- year-long state of emergency
2011-02-01 Jordan's King Sacks Government as Protests Grow
2011-02-01 Tunisian Islamic Leader Returns as EU Freezes Ousted President's Assets
2011-02-01 Army Vows Not to Shoot as Protesters make Million Man Marches in Cairo, Alexandria Today [UPDATE: 2]
2011-01-30 Million Egyptian Protest Planned as Resistance Continues
2011-01-29 No Internet? No Problem! Anonymous Faxes Egypt
2011-01-28 In Jordan Thousands Demand New Government
2011-01-28 Mubarak Refuses to Step Down!
2011-01-28 Egypt is on Fire!
2011-01-27 Libya is in Revolt as Gaddafi Worries
2011-01-27 Algerians Plan Big Protest Rally for February 9th
2011-01-27 Tunisia Protests Continues as a Warrant is Issued for Ben Ali
2011-01-27 Tens of Thousands Rally in Yemen, Demand Change
2011-01-27 Mubarak Blinks as Egyptian Protests Continue for 3rd Day
Here is a recap of my other DKos dairies on the Internet, North Africa and Anonymous:
Are "mutinous officers" are being executed in Egypt now?
Algeria's 19 year long State of Emergency to end soon, President says
Senior Egyptian Army Officers Ordered Massacre!
Tales of Tyrants: Ben Ali, Mubarak & Suleiman
UPDATE: Egypt's Mubarak Has Resigned! - The Mubarak Screw Up & the Suleiman Danger
BREAKING: Mubarak is Defiant
The Google Search for Wael Ghonim
Tunisia's Revolution Continues
Google Goes Rebel, Supports Egyptian Protest
Tunisian Anonymous activists take on Egyptian cause
Protesters roar back with "Day of Departure" for Mubarak
Act Now to Stop Mubarak's Thugs From Killing More! w Petition
Act Now to Stop Mubarak's Thugs From Killing More!
They Should Have Helped That Street Vendor
Million Egyptian Protest Planned as Resistance Continues
Huffington Post Disses the Jasmine Revolution Redux
No Internet? No Problem! Anonymous Faxes Egypt
Egypt is on Fire!
North African Revolution Continues
Egypt Protests Continue, Tunisia Wants Ben Ali Back
BREAKING: Protesters Plan Massive "Day of Wrath" in Egypt Today
Tunisians Thank Anonymous as North Africa Explodes
Huffington Post Disses the Jasmine Revolution
Tunisia: A Single Tweet Can Start A Prairie Fire!
Anonymous plans Op Swift Assist in Tunisia
Arrested Pirate Party Member Becomes Tunisian Minister
Is Libya Next? Anonymous Debates New Operation
Tunis: This Photo was Taken 66 Minutes Ago
The WikiLeaks Revolution: Anonymous Strikes Tunisia
EMERGENCY: DKos Must Act Now to Protect Tunisian Bloggers!
Free Software & Internet Show Communism is Possible
BREAKING - Digital Sit-Ins: The Internet Strikes Back!
Cyber War Report: New Front Opens Against Internet Coup d'état
Operation PayBack: 1st Cyber War Begins over WikiLeaks
The Internet Takeover: Why Google is Next
BREAKING: Goodbye Internet Freedom as Wikileaks is Taken Down
BREAKING NEWS: Obama Admin Takes Control of Internet Domains!
Things Even Keith Olbermann Won't Cover - UPDATE: VICTORY!!!
Stop Internet Blacklist Bill Now!
Sweet Victory on Internet Censorship: Senate Backs Off!
Internet Engineers tell the Senate to Back Off!
Why is Net Neutrality advocate Free Press MIA?
Obama's Internet Coup d'état
Julian Assange on Threat to Internet Freedom