A Civil War

110503137

From Jon Lee Anderson's latest Libya dispatch:

In front of another tank, a man fiddled with a camera and asked me to take his picture with his elderly father, who seemed overcome with emotion, and suddenly lifted both hands in a “V for victory” sign. Men wandered up to me to ask my nationality: “French, American?” and shaking my hand happily, shyly, expressing their gratitude to the West and their outrage at Qaddafi, and their humiliation, too. “Qaddafi, you know, he’s not normal,” Libyans often say in an ashamed way, as if trying to fathom the man who has dominated their lives for more than forty years and who is now sending bombs and planes and tanks against them. “What does he think, that we will somehow forgive him and agree to live with him again, after this?”

The underlying question is whether the pro-Qaddafi forces are entirely mercenary or whether they are genuine. The same question applies to the pro-Qaddafi crowds in Tripoli. Pure propaganda? Paid stooges? Or brainwashed enthusiasts? Wilkinson encourages plain language:

It seems to me obviously correct to characterise the military conflict between Libyan factions as a "civil war", and thus to characterise the actions of the Americans, French, and British, which target the Libyan state's air defences, as "taking sides in a civil war". 

(Photo: Libyan rebels duck for cover behind a sand dune during a failed attempt to take the town of Ajdabiya from Moammer Khaddafi's forces on March 21, 2011 as news reports said Libyan government forces pulled back 60 miles from rebel-held Benghazi but showed they still had plenty of fight as they beat off an insurgent advance. By Patrick Baz/AFP/Getty Images)

2006-2011 archives for The Daily Dish, featuring Andrew Sullivan

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

Just In