Libyians. Another case of the news as geography lesson. First the mystery of a popular uprising in Egypt, a peaceful protest that worked. Next, by the same degree of surprise, Libyans are wanting to do the same thing. It seems predictable that Khadafy would use guns. I say seems, because I mean it's perfectly predictable that he would, but must leave room for the unforeseeable. Like this uprising in Libya came out of the unforeseeable. Or appears to. They're talking today like he needs assassinating. I look at pictures of burned out buildings in Tripoli, empty streets, the colors, North African tropical, and find it curious I'd never thought of Tripoli as anything but a dot on a map. Never wondered what kind of people lived there. Being a port on the Mediterranean, I'd guess it's a fairly international city, good vacation place for Europeans. From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli...the United States Marines.
I've an idea if Khadafy wanted to start up a civil war, he could do it. It's a bit difficult seeing in my mind an African dictator fold just because western press thinks it's mean of him to have 300+ dead. "Outrageous," spake Obama. American military doesn't invest in Africa. They tried it in Somalia and ran like rabbits. Rwanda, Ethiopia, Chad, Lybia? USA policy has so far been to stay out of Africa. Now that the Somali pirates are publicly killing white missionaries, they're getting American military attention, but with caution. Africa for outsiders is quicksand. The continent is going through great internal upheavals that came from the period of European exploitation of the continent's mineral wealth, laying national boundaries without regard for traditional boundaries, setting, in effect, everybody on the continent against everybody else. It's an evolution that cannot be stopped until it runs its course. Though, from the nature of the Egyptian, Tunisian and now Lybian popular rebellions, the extreme violence of African revolts appears to have calmed down. We're also in the Arab northern edge of Africa at the Mediterranean, tourism too important to the national economy to disrupt. That's different from the mountains of equatorial Congo. Africa will be a long time in its transition.
Hearing the news quite a lot lately. Not paying a great deal of attention, but noting that when the talk concerns Egypt or Lybia, I pay attention. The rest of the time it's white noise going by. Seems there is always a topic on the news that holds my interest. They tend to be new situations that appear to have potential to evolve into something bigger or turn into something bigger like Steven Seagal says, Things have a way of changing real fast. When Basil Landreth the barber in Sparta was living, he kept a map of the world on the wall in his barbershop. Stick-pins of white he'd put in every place he'd been. Red pins were hot spots, mostly the middle east around Israel, from several years of listening to the news. If Egypt, Tunis, Bahrain, maybe Yemen, maybe Libya, maybe Morocco, turn over their inept self-gratifying governments to government more responsible to the people, it could be very strange. Democracy by popular demand. It took sinking the economy of the western world to enforce democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now these other places have people rising up in large numbers. Go figure.