The Other I

March 3, 2011

Guns or Gandhi

Filed under: Political thoughts — theotheri @ 3:52 pm

Whether a non-violent revolution can succeed in a society whose military is willing to obey sustained orders to attack their countrymen engaging in peaceful demonstrations is the question we are now watching in Libya.

Reports in the last few days are that Gaddafi’s troops have tried to retake some of the territory held by the freedom-fighters and have been repelled.  There is also some speculation that the air attacks have been off-target deliberately, and that the government troops, having been repulsed, are demoralized.  But it’s not clear what is really happening.

Perhaps, though, the country will simply implode.  Hundreds of thousands of support workers have left the country.  If they are the backbone of essential services, bombing their empty offices and workplaces will not get the country moving again.

Meanwhile, some rebels are asking the international community to support them by launching air attacks on selected sites.  I personally hope that we on the outside stay out of it.  Libya has to rebuild from the inside.  They do not want foreigners telling them what to do, and resent that so many Libyans are unemployed while hundreds of thousands of outsiders are benefiting from lucrative jobs.  And as Iraq and Afghanistan are currently demonstrating, the United States lacks national-building skills for other countries.

About that at least, George W Bush was right.

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