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5 things the U.S. should consider in Libya


Monday, March 21, 2011

The U.S. has started bombing Libya to implement a U.N. resolution authorizing all necessary measures to " protect civilians and civilian populated areas." But intervention also is bolstering anti-government forces by attacking the Libyan army, especially near Benghazi, enabling the rebels to resume their offensive Monday from that stronghold.

Proponents of such intervention claim it is the only way to protect Libya's populace. But intervening actually magnifies the threat to civilians in Libya, and beyond. That is because armed uprisings, such as Libya's, typically provoke massive state retaliation that harms innocents. By contrast, non-violent movements, as in Egypt and Tunisia, rarely trigger so brutal a response.

By helping rebels, we thus increase the risk of retaliatory massacres or even genocide. Indeed, The New York Times reported that violence threatening Libya's civilians was " provoked by rebels." Aiding the Libyan rebels also encourages copycat uprisings in other countries, proliferating the risk of atrocities.




Intervene in Libya? - Good Day Austin, March 10, 2011

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