What threat to civilians did Kaddafi actually pose?

While I am against America’s military intrusion into Libya’s civil war, it must be acknowledged that Kaddafi himself provided the world with ample apparent reason to want to stop him. As the New York Times reported on Friday:

Speaking on a radio call-in show in Tripoli before the [Security Council] vote, Colonel Qaddafi raised the level of urgency on the vote, saying that his forces would begin an assault on Benghazi that night.

“We will come house by house, room by room. It’s over. The issue has been decided,” he said, offering amnesty to those who laid down their arms. To those who continued to resist, he vowed: “We will find you in your closets. We will have no mercy and no pity.”

That could certainly be read as a promise of mass slaughter, and, according to the media, it was that bloody promise that changed President Obama’s mind and led him to support military intervention.

Yet Kaddafi’s words could also be read as the opposite of such a promise, since he offered amnesty to those who surrendered and seemed to be threatening death only to those who kept fighting to the end. The administration has said that the U.S. had to intervene in order to stop Kaddafi from committing a mass slaughter of “civilians.” But Kaddafi, according to the Times’ own characterization of his words, was threatening only hard core rebels, not civilians.

In this connection, I would remind readers of the screaming by liberal and neoconservative columnists about a “genocide” in Kosovo in the period leading up to President Clinton’s and NATO’s action against Serbia in 1999. There was no such genocide. At most a couple of thousand bodies were found, a number that might be expected in light of the ongoing low-level civil war between Serbs and Albanians in Kosovo. But the genocide claim was instrumental in transforming that civil war into a threat against humanity and justifying in the public mind Clinton’s/NATO’s wholly unjustifiable air attack on Serbia, which in turn led Serbia to expel the Albanians from Kosovo (as the Serbian leader Milosevic had previously threatened to do if NATO attacked Serbia), which in turn led to the all-out U.S. air bombing campaign against Serbia, which in turn led to the Serbs’ readmission of the Albanians into Kosovo and the U.S./NATO takeover of Kosovar and Serbian affairs, which in turn led to the ethnic cleansing of the remaining Serbs from Kosovo and the establishment of a second sovereign Muslim Albanian state in the Balkans.

I never saw a single writer who had charged a Serbian “genocide” of Kosovar Albanians admit that the charge had been proven false.

- end of initial entry -

Jed W. writes:

This is madness. We’ve gone to war for the Muslim brotherhood. Like jannisaries of old.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at March 20, 2011 07:12 PM | Send

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