written February 20, 2011
A ruthless despot commits genocide against his own people, while we, and the rest
of the world, stand idly by and issue carefully worded, politically correct statements
denouncing the violence with no more passion or anger than we would if were critiquing
a new movie or television show. How brave of us. Where is our outrage? Where is our
commitment to protect innocent human life wherever it is threatened on this planet?
No, we cannot police the entire world, but we can damn sure stop Gaddafi and his
hired thugs from slaughtering his own people. How? Not by waiting for an impotent
United Nations to issue another resolution; and not by spending weeks, or months,
forming a coalition of righteous nations. Thousands more Libyans will die while we
wait for that.
The only way to stop this genocide is for our President to muster the courage to
issue an unequivocal warning to Gaddafi to reign in his thugs and army loyalists and
relinquish power, or suffer the full might of the U.S. military. Even before he speaks,
U.S. Air Force B-52 and B-2 bombers should be readied to strike Libyan airfields and
military installations still loyal to the dictator. Navy war ships, to include an aircraft
carrier and troop ships carrying U.S. Marines should be positioned off Libya’s coast.
Maybe it’s time for our young marines to walk in Lt. O’Bannon’s footsteps, to, once
again, rid Tripoli of its “Barbary Pirates.”
I write as one who has spent twelve years in the Middle East, ten in Saudi Arabia,
and two in Libya (April 1968 to May 1970). As an Air Force fighter pilot, I was sent
to Libya (with my wife and five children) to train their pilots in the new fighter jets
we sold them. The following year, on 1 September 1969, a young army lieutenant by
the name of Moammar Gaddafi, in a brilliantly executed coup, seized control of the
government in less than 48 hours with hardly a shot being fired.
By then, our training detachment of close to 100 personnel had established such
good rapport with our Libyan counterparts we continued to work with them even
while the coup was still in progress--never fearing for our safety, or the safety of our
families. Moreover, when we left Libya in May the following year, our many Libyan
friends (civilian and military) were at the airfield to see us off, bearing so many gifts
Ezdy and I could not carry all of them on the airplane.
They were there in defiance of a standing order of the Revolutionary Council, not
to fraternize with Americans. That order was particularly directed at their military
personnel whose careers, perhaps even their lives, were at risk. Still, they came.
Why? Because they were Libyans and we were their friends, and that overrode all
These are the people I speak about here…brave people who, I believe, will prevail
in their struggle to shrug off the tyrannical rule they have been living under for 42
years, with or without our help; but not before untold thousands are killed. If we act
with resolve now we can stop the massacre and, in so doing, restore a friendship with
a people who would become our strongest Arab ally in the Middle East, and reclaim
our role as a credible broker for peace in the area.
If we do this terrorism will be on its way to extinction. If we don’t, we will have
lost a golden opportunity to show the world, particularly the Muslim world, that the
United States of America is truly a defender of human rights...a beacon of freedom
for all people.