First I want to make it clear: Qaddafi does not like me and I don’t like him. He refused me a visa to report there more than once.
But I have to voice my opinion against this war on Libya because it is wrong and risks creating a disaster and turmoil which will last for years.
There is something wrong when 50 people on the margins make the headlines around the planet and threaten world peace for simply exercising their First Amendment Right to freedom of expression. There is something wrong when they are pressured not to do it because it will spark violence among people who reject our notions of freedom. There is something fundamentally wrong when we are willing to sacrifice our freedoms for fear of attack from those who don’t like our ‘civilization’.
In his 2004 book, Colossus, Niall Ferguson argues the United States is an empire and should assume its rightful place as the inheritor of Britain’s 19th century ‘White Man’s Burden’. He decries the American schizophrenia of being an empire in denial, sending troops abroad without the intention of staying and being squeamish when GIs die. Ferguson says we should go, stay and impose our will for world order and to prevent chaos.
This may seem easy to say for a man comfortable in the Ivory Towers of Oxford and Harvard who never did military service, much less saw the harsh realities of war but he does have a point. Americans need to back their wars or not fight them and that is why I say we need to bring back the draft.
The Christmas underwear bombing attempt by a Nigerian Islamic Fundamentalist on a plane to Detroit has given Americans a chance to play their favorite game: scare themselves to death with practically non-existent threats to their lives.
The French have been asked to debate on what being French is when what they really want to talk about is what being French is not: Muslim.
Ndjamena: Dec. 6 – 12, 2009: Lake Chad is drying up faster then feared and water reserves are dwindling with famine predicted in the north in 2010 due to a short rainy season and over grazing; the 2009 census shows that the population of Chad has doubled in just 15 years although it was widely criticized when the authorities rigged the figures to favor the Muslims of the north to the detriment of the Christians in the south; 80% of the population is illiterate; the war in the east continues — but hey, lets hold elections!
Moundou, Chad, June 7 – 12: A Chadian was stopped by a corrupt Ivorian policeman who told him « I’m going to give you problems. » The Chadian responded “and I will give you solutions.”
When President Idriss Deby in January told his security forces to impose a draconian ban on the use of charcoal in Chad in a bid to fight desertification, he did nothing to help people find alternative means for cooking. Deby responded to his critics by saying Chadians are people who find solutions to everything. He insisted nobody is starving in the country.
Paris — July 19, 2008: The American press is upset that France denied citizenship to a fundamentalist Moroccan Muslim woman who wears the niqab, a facial mask which only lets the eyes show. First, there is the question of what it means to be a French citizen. Second, there is the European fear of letting the wolf in the back door.