But, now, we get a real feel for how dictatorship is enforced. (ht: Sullivan and Kristof)
DO NOT click on play in the following videos, unless you know you can handle the reality of graphic violence.
I could barely watch the first few seconds of the second video, which is a short one to begin with, before I stopped it and stepped away to clear my head and eyes.
I really mean that warning for the following one:
The US now reaches yet another critical test: should we oppose the Saudis and the Bahraini king, stay silent, or support the people who are protesting in order to gain freedom?
Or, let us suppose that the protesters in Bahrain as us the same question that President Bush asked the rest of the world: "are you with us, or against us?" ....
Meanwhile, in Libya, whose people we in the US and in Western Europe let down in an awful manner, well, Gaddafi is now feeling so strengthened that his son brags that it will all be over in 48 hours, and any no-fly zone will be too late:
"Military operations are over. Within 48 hours everything will be finished. Our forces are almost in Benghazi. Whatever the decision, it will be too late."What a tragic mess that the US and the West made out of the rebellion against a mad dog dictator :( It was one awful sin of omission. As the Telegraph put it:
The imperious silence emanating from the White House as the turmoil in North Africa and the Middle East intensifies is exacting a high price. For the better part of a month, President Obama has shown himself to be a master of gnomic inaction.How did this guy go from those big speeches in Germany and Cairo, to such a wimp? "A man or a mouse?," as the old question goes! The Telegraph adds:
If America is not prepared to support its friends, they will increasingly be forced to look after themselves. For example, Bahrain may not have felt compelled to seek military aid from Saudi Arabia if Washington had been more supportive of its clumsy attempts to introduce democracy. Certainly, the Saudi intervention in support of Bahrain's Sunni ruling family can hardly be said to be in the West's interests, as it runs the risk of further antagonising the kingdom's majority Shia population. If Iran, which regards itself as the Shias' main protector, were to respond on their behalf, the crisis could quickly escalate into open hostility between Iran and Saudi Arabia, thereby closing the Gulf and cutting off the West's vital oil supplies. At that point, the American president would have no alternative but to intervene
If we intervened only at that late a time, then we will end up delivering convincing proof to the entire world that the only American interest in that part of the world is in the millions of barrels of petroleum that lies beneath the sands.