Imagine, if you will, a nation that has a leader who is hated by a huge portion of its citizens. He is an odd looking fellow who speaks strangely, so strangely that often people wonder how limited his education really was.

The hatred for this leader is so intense that he is called many villifying names. The legitimacy of his regime is challenged and he is charged with oppression. When he announces every intention to change the very lives they lead in the region of the country where they predominate, the citizens declare they have had enough

As tensions mount and dissatisfaction with the “tyrant” grows, a number of local leaders declare they will no longer follow the national leader and many of these local leaders band together with the intention to establish a nation of their own.

The national leader….let’s call him Abi….feeling his regime threatened, begins ordering the arrest of perceived opposition leaders, without warrants, Abi having suspended many of the rights all citizens previously enjoyed.

As the opposition to the regime grows the “rebels” begin acquiring arms, mostly small hand held weapons, but eventually more powerful and lethal weapons with the aid of army officers who have left the national forces.

There is much unrest in the streets but no open rebellion until….the rebel forces amass a small army of their own and determine to attack a regime stronghold. The rebels had already seized some government property and claimed to have a new, independent government.

 Emboldened  from this perceived strength the rebels assail the stronghold with heavy weapons fire. Even though casualties are minimal, the officer in charge of the stronghold surrenders in humiliation.

Word of this defeat reaches Abi in his palace in the Capital, and he immediately takes steps to strenghten his armies to quash this rebellion. But that only encourages the rebellion to spread, and within a short time a large army of rebels is massed in the area of the Capital.

That battle, looking like victory to the rebels, only heartens them to more skirmishes and  even larger battles. Many of those are fought in the province closest to the Capital but eventually these battles spread to other provinces, mostly in the areas that the rebels have declared their own.

Horrible casualties are being inflicted. Property is utterly destroyed and many civilians are displaced. Plots are hatched by rebel sympathizers to try to assassinate Abi in hopes that will mean freedom for the rebels.

But this conflict draws attention across the waters where the greatest military power the world has ever known is considering taking action to assist the rebels. That nation, after all, is much dependent on resources available mainly in the territory held by the rebels.

As this power stands by, there is wholesale slaughter of both the rebels and the troops of the regime. The world is at attention. What will this superpower do?

Well they sure as hell will not try to impose a no-fly zone. After all, airplanes were not yet invented during the American Civil War. And Britain officially remained neutral, as did France, fearing war with the United States was not worth the price to secure a steady supply of cotton from the South.

Though Britain did aid the Confederacy to some extent. building a couple of ships for example, it never officially recognized the Confederacy.

If the world’s pre-eminent power, economic and military, 150 years ago could restrain itself from entering a civil war, I suggest todays pre-eminent power, economic and military, exercise the same restraint. Get the U.S. out of Libya.

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  • Betsy  On April 4, 2011 at 10:20 AM

    I certainly agree with you. However, I have often wondered, during our Civil War, if there had been 24-hour news, the internet, etc., would Britain and France stayed out?

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