The refusal by the west, especially the United States, to intervene in any meaningful way in Libya sends some very clear messages to the people of the Middle East.
It tells people who seek regime change in countries throughout the region that they are on their own and that they cannot expect assistance in their efforts to overthrow tyrannical governments.
It tells governments throughout the region that they are free to crush dissent, protests and rebellions as they see fit because the United States and/or other western nations will not step in and stop them no matter what they do.
It tells everyone that the rhetoric of the U.S. and other western nations about freedom and democracy and the will of the people is a sham and exceedingly hypocritical because no one is willing to do anything substantial to bring them about. It also tells everyone that the cruelty inflicted on people by their governments has the de facto approval and support of America and the west because no one will do anything substantial to stop it.
It tells everyone that neither the United States or the west will intervene in other circumstances either. No one will prevent Iran from pursuing, acquiring and using nuclear weapons, no one will come to Israel’s defense when she is attacked, no one will do anything about the persecution of religious and ethnic minorities throughout the region, no one will do anything about the appalling treatment of women, children, gays and foreigners, no one will do anything to stop the exportation of hatred and violence, no one will prevent a regional nuclear arms race and so on.
It tells everyone that the United States under President Obama is clueless, weak and a paper tiger and cannot be trusted or depended upon by anyone.
It tells everyone that Gaddafi remaining in power is perfectly acceptable and that the inevitable bloodbath which will follow his triumph is acceptable too.
It tells everyone that they really are left to their own devices, that they really are on their own.
Everyone means everyone.
Those are some messages aren’t they?