The crazed dictator Muammar Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi is murdering his own citizens by the hundreds as I write this: as reported by Al Jazeera and in the New York Times, fighter jets have been firing live rounds into pro-democracy protesters in Tripoli, and mercenaries are shooting indiscriminately into the crowds.
He and his equally lunatic son may pay the full price for these acts of unspeakable barbarity. (In the bizarre political commentary that passes for geopolitical analysis these days, the latter has been considered “liberal.”) Al-Gaddafi’s dog, as they say in French, is dead. Troops are defecting on the ground; two air force colonels, rather than fire on the people, took their jets to Malta. A top general has reportedly been put under house arrest by al-Gaddafi for refusing to fire on the people.
The protesters are taking over buildings and whole cities, and are clashing with pro-government forces with bared-teeth resistance:
Witnesses in Tripoli interviewed by telephone on Monday said protesters had converged on the capital’s central Green Square and clashed with heavily armed riot police for several hours after Mr. [Saif] Qaddafi’s speech, apparently enraged by it. Young men armed themselves with chains around their knuckles, steel pipes and machetes, as well as police batons, helmets and rifles commandeered from riot squads.
In the meantime, Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon has called for calm. Good grief, is that really the best we can do?