Posts Tagged ‘Malinowski

28
Mar
11

‘why isn’t obama getting credit for stopping an atrocity?’

Rebel fighters celebrate by waving a Kingdom of Libya flag atop a destroyed tank on the outskirts of the town of Ajdabiyah, March 26

Tom Malinowski (the Washington director of Human Rights Watch): Here is one lesson we can draw from the mostly negative media commentary about the Obama administration’s actions in Libya: Presidents get more credit for stopping atrocities after they begin than for preventing them before they get out of hand.

…In Libya, many people (we don’t yet know how many) were arrested, forcibly disappeared and possibly executed as the Qaddafi government consolidated its control over Tripoli and rebel-held enclaves … But the Obama administration and its international allies did act soon enough to prevent the much larger-scale atrocities that would likely have followed Qaddafi’s reconquest of eastern Libya and especially the city of Benghazi … it was, by any objective standard, the most rapid multinational military response to an impending human rights crisis in history, with broader international support than any of the humanitarian interventions of the 1990s.

But precisely because the international community acted in time – before Qaddafi retook Benghazi – we never saw what might have happened had they not acted….  we should acknowledge what could be happening in eastern Libya right now had Qaddafi’s forces continued their march…

…It is legitimate to challenge the Obama administration about its objectives and how it plans to achieve them. It’s reasonable to be concerned about the impact the air war will have on civilians if it continues indefinitely. We do not know what will happen next in Libya, or where this all will lead – we never do. But we do know what has likely been averted. And for that we should be grateful.

Full article here




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