More public statements, or even the imposition of sanctions, are of absolutely no use at this point. Much more urgent action is needed. The United States should be seeking U.N. approval for:
-- Recognition of a provisional authority in liberated areas (or even a Provisional Government of Free Libya if the Libyans can organize a credible one), initially in Benghazi in the east and Misurata in the west, which seem to be liberated, although are still under threat of air attack;
-- Provision by member countries, including specifically Egypt and Tunisia, of any support requested by these provisional authorities;
-- Imposition of a NATO-supported "no fly" zone over Libya to halt further bombing by Qaddafi's forces;
-- Urgent supply of food and medical supplies to any point in Libya that is accessible by road or by military transport aircraft;
-- Provision of arms to the provisional authorities.
When there are so many things that could be done to help the unbelievably brave Libyan people--without any risk to American lives--it is shameful to be sitting on our hands. If that is not reason enough to act, then we should be thinking about the terrible reputation the United States is acquiring, by its inaction, among the Libyan people and throughout the region. It will stay with us for a long time.
Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. Previously, he served as 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.
His 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. Goldberg rthe recipient of the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism. 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. He is also the recipient of 2005's Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize.
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.