Niall Ferguson insists Obama impose on Libya a document like the Helsinki Final Act of 1975:
So accustomed were the Soviet authorities to lying that they saw no harm in subscribing to these pledges [to uphold human rights]. Indeed, the Final Act was reprinted in full in Pravda. But for dissidents inside the Soviet bloc like the physicist Andrei Sakharov or the Czech playwright Václav Havel, Helsinki represented a huge stick with which to beat their persecutors.
Paul Wells rolls his eyes:
[Libya has] already signed language that’s awfully similar to the Helsinki Final Act.
UN General Assembly Resolution 60/251 set up the United Nations Human Rights Council. Among other things, it says this: “All human rights are universal, indivisible, interrelated, interdependent and mutually reinforcing, and that all human rights must be treated in a fair and equal manner, on the same footing and with the same emphasis.” ...
When proposing a method for eliminating Mouammar Gadhafi “before thousands of Libyans [die],” to a president whose “ignorance” and need for “a history lesson” drive you to open mockery, it’s probably best not to propose a solution that took 16 years to work in the first place. Because “what helped the Central and Eastern European revolutionaries of 1989 topple their tyrants,” by Ferguson’s own account, took “two years of haggling” before it was signed, 14 years before the Central and Eastern European revolutionaries of 1989 began their revolutions.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.