The Libyan Nightmare

Hussein Ibish:

"(W)hat Libya is providing is a dystopian version of the euphoric, utopian "velvet revolutions" in Egypt and Tunisia, since this military, or at least significant parts of it, appears to have no compunction in unleashing its firepower on unarmed demonstrators. There is a degree of unscrupulousness and recklessness at work in the Qaddafi regime's response that was simply missing in Tunisia and Egypt and only briefly glimpsed, and in a very limited manner, in Bahrain. But this is what it looks like when the state won't restrain itself and at least some key elements of the military, mercenaries or otherwise, will take orders to open fire on unarmed demonstrators."

There is a chance that Qaddafi will cut and run. There's also a chance that he will unleash wholesale slaughter. Libya is a partial answer to those of you who ask whether we should have waited for the people of Iraq to overthrow Saddam. There would have been very few people left by the time that particular revolution burned itself out. Just ask the Kurds.

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Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

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