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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Couldn't Happen to a Nicer Guy

Recent events in the Middle East have proven uplifting in various ways. The overthrow of Tunisia's autocrat and the uprisings in Bahrain were highly educational: We learned, for example, that there are two countries known as Tunisia and Bahrain. Egypt's own mostly non-violent revolution was inspiring, at least until CBS's Lara Logan was raped in the aftermath. Still, we'll choose to focus on the freedom, not the egregious sexual violence. But we admit that we didn't truly experience a sense of glee until we began seeing the disintegration of the regime of Libya's Colonel Moamar Qadafi. (Khadafy? Gadafy? How come nobody can settle on a spelling for this loser? And, also, if he's such a hot shot, how come he never made general? Just sayin'.)

What's nice about this latest bout of Middle East turmoil is that we Americans can and should pretty much unambiguously and unconflictedly cheer on the Libyan protesters. Unlike Egypt's Hosni Mubarak, who was at least putatively an ally who helped promote US interests in the region, Qadafi is basically an unreconstructed douchebag. For one thing, he's nuts--and not in the good way. To call him a megalomaniac is an insult to megalomaniac's. An excerpt from his latest diatribe: "Muammar Qaddafi [see, even HE isn't sure how to spell it.] is history, resistance, liberty, glory, revolution." Once you start referring to yourself in the third-person, it's pretty much a quick jaunt to Wackytown: Just look at Diddy. Plus, he has so far shown little of Mubarak's restraint about killing his own citizens--which strikes us as questionable domestic policy, at best.

What cinches things for us are the revelations of a former Libyan Justice Minister--one of several high-profile Libyans who have defected since the uprising began--that Qadafi ordered the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988. OK, this was probably the worst-kept secret in the history of international terrorism, but now that we have some semi-official confirmation, the US should show no qualms about cheering on the protesters. Frankly, the Pan Am bombing was nothing short of an act of war. Qadafi's days should be numbered, and the US should do everything in its power to hasten his end.

And while we understand that the last thing our country needs is yet another Middle-Eastern military adventure, we can't help but think how gratifying it would be for the Obama Administration to send a message to the protesters: Just stay away from Tripoli for a couple of days. The US Air Force will clean up your little Qadafi-problem for you.

Na na na na. . . Na na na na. . . Hey hey hey. . .

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