Libya And Shifting The Narrative

Mike Riggs looks at C.J. Chivers' latest report from the front lines in Libya showing that the rebels have taken to "looting" and "reprisals" against Libyans loyal to dictator Moammar Ghadafi and writes:

Chivers argues convincingly that Qaddafi's forces are worse, what with bombing civilians and executing prisoners. Then he notes that the rebels have a mixed record of treatment themselves, with some captured Qaddafi troops receiving "medical treatment in rebel hospitals and have been kept in detention centers that nongovernment organizations have been allowed to visit," while others have been beaten and "shot through the feet, either as a punishment or as a means to prevent escape."

I suppose the consolation here is that we are funding the lesser of two evils?

Consolation aside, while the latest Zogby poll doesn't include Libya, the reason I was skeptical of the public relations benefits of intervening in Libya from the beginning is that the U.S. was going to take the blame from whatever suffering took place as a result of a protracted conflict. America is an exception to this, but insurrections rarely lead to well-functioning liberal democracies, and while the U.S. might have taken some blame for not intervening in the first place I'm not sure the possibility of intervention making things worse was ever seriously considered. And just to state the obvious, the rebels attacking civilians would seem to put the coalition in a forseeably awkward position, since the UN resolution was a mandate to "protect civilians" not pursue regime change.

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