The Libyan Revolution

Muammar Gaddafi and his loyalists are holding onto Tripoli, as the rest of the country is joining with the mass uprising of the people.  Gaddafi is attacking his citizens with tanks and from the air, but the populace has weapons too.  Some army units have reportedly abandoned the dictator and have joined the popular revolt.  Ordinary people have raided police stations and looted abandoned militia bases for weapons. Pitched battles are breaking out everywhere.  An unconfirmed rumor that Gaddafi has been shot sent oil prices down.

Gaddafi reportedly depends on foreign mercenaries as his personal military force.  From descriptions these seem to be mostly African, rather than Americans who read Soldier of Fortune Magazine, but who knows with mercenaries?

See:

Gaddafi loyalists launch counterattacks; U.S. consults allies on Libya options.

Gaddafi relies on paramilitary, mercenaries

Oil settles near $97 on rumors Gaddafi shot

Gaddafi is a brutal dictator and an overt sponsor of terrorism, very much like Saddam Hussein, if not worse.  If he can be overthrown–and it isn’t clear that this will happen, but it seems likely–do you think this outbreak of freedom in the Islamic world might have overthrown Saddam, if we had not invaded Iraq?  Do you think the American invasion had anything to do with these revolutions?  Or do they show that the wars have been unnecessary?

 

 

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • WebMonk

    Looks like we’re getting Iraqi protests anyway!

    http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/M/ML_IRAQ

  • WebMonk

    Looks like we’re getting Iraqi protests anyway!

    http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/M/ML_IRAQ

  • Bryan Lindemood

    Yeah, these days it seems a new great action movie plot is born every time you look at the news! So many great 007 scenarios. Villains and unlikely allies everywhere!

    And to not really answer Veith’s question: I don’t know if I would say we “inspired” this. Which parts were necessary or not necessary about our wars, I’m really not sure. I still think the predator drone parts to be an unnecessary means by which to wage war against enemies of flesh and blood.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    Yeah, these days it seems a new great action movie plot is born every time you look at the news! So many great 007 scenarios. Villains and unlikely allies everywhere!

    And to not really answer Veith’s question: I don’t know if I would say we “inspired” this. Which parts were necessary or not necessary about our wars, I’m really not sure. I still think the predator drone parts to be an unnecessary means by which to wage war against enemies of flesh and blood.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    The ironic thing that I see in all this, is in the past few years Gaddafi seemed to be backing down from his overt support of terrorism. When we invaded Iraq, he gave up his stores of chemical weapons, on just the threat that it might happen to him. In the last months he was chumming it up with Italy, which was quite unprecedented given their brutal colonization of Libya in the last century.
    I don’t know if a leopard changes his spots completely. But there seemed to be progress being made. Perhaps he was already feeling the pressure within his own country and looking to make allies elsewhere.
    Nothing happens in a vacuum. I don’t know that this would or would not have happened without our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Perhaps we can be thankful they are happening. Maybe it is too early to tell. Things are changing, that is what we know.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    The ironic thing that I see in all this, is in the past few years Gaddafi seemed to be backing down from his overt support of terrorism. When we invaded Iraq, he gave up his stores of chemical weapons, on just the threat that it might happen to him. In the last months he was chumming it up with Italy, which was quite unprecedented given their brutal colonization of Libya in the last century.
    I don’t know if a leopard changes his spots completely. But there seemed to be progress being made. Perhaps he was already feeling the pressure within his own country and looking to make allies elsewhere.
    Nothing happens in a vacuum. I don’t know that this would or would not have happened without our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Perhaps we can be thankful they are happening. Maybe it is too early to tell. Things are changing, that is what we know.

  • SKPeterson

    I pray that is spreads to Zimbabwe and the Mugabe regime.

  • SKPeterson

    I pray that is spreads to Zimbabwe and the Mugabe regime.

  • SKPeterson

    that should be ‘it’ not ‘is’.

  • SKPeterson

    that should be ‘it’ not ‘is’.

  • jim_claybourn

    Dr Veith,

    I’d like to see a new thread discussing the comments that John MacArthur recently made on the middle east uprisings, in reference to submitting to authority:

    http://www.internetmonk.com/archive/im-speechless-how-do-you-respond

  • jim_claybourn

    Dr Veith,

    I’d like to see a new thread discussing the comments that John MacArthur recently made on the middle east uprisings, in reference to submitting to authority:

    http://www.internetmonk.com/archive/im-speechless-how-do-you-respond

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Sk Peterson,
    You and me both.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Sk Peterson,
    You and me both.

  • DonS

    Jim @ 6: We’ve had that discussion on this blog in the past — the issue of the biblical teaching of respect for governmental authority even when the government is evil. That discussion has included whether the American Revolution was right or not. And, a fair number of commenters on this blog pretty much agree with what John MacArthur seems to be saying, which is that armed rebellion is always wrong.

    The thing is, though, that Christians were not the instigators of the rebellion in Egypt, nor in Libya, nor in most instances. So, what do Christians do once the events have been set in motion and the government has been compromised? Whom do you support and how do you act once the situation is irreparable, when there’s no going back? Probably a more interesting and more pertinent question to be asking than the academic one of whether the rebels should have begun the fight.

  • DonS

    Jim @ 6: We’ve had that discussion on this blog in the past — the issue of the biblical teaching of respect for governmental authority even when the government is evil. That discussion has included whether the American Revolution was right or not. And, a fair number of commenters on this blog pretty much agree with what John MacArthur seems to be saying, which is that armed rebellion is always wrong.

    The thing is, though, that Christians were not the instigators of the rebellion in Egypt, nor in Libya, nor in most instances. So, what do Christians do once the events have been set in motion and the government has been compromised? Whom do you support and how do you act once the situation is irreparable, when there’s no going back? Probably a more interesting and more pertinent question to be asking than the academic one of whether the rebels should have begun the fight.

  • Porcell

    Jim, Paul was right to caution Christians to obey constituted authority, while maintaining their Christian faith. Living under what was an overwhelming Roman empire, it would have been foolish to rebel against its civil authority.

    However, while some revolutions, such as the French one, do turn out to be mistakes, some, such as the American one turn out well. Paul’s advice in Romans to slaves and others was mostly prudential in his time. In our time, while it is wise as a rule to obey civil authority, there comes time when it is wise to throw off the cruel shackles of tyrannical regimes.

    Basically, Paul’s admonition in Romans 13 was prudential, though not necessarily absolute. Any people with a reasonable chance of success does well to revolt against a brutal tyranny. Just now the people in Iran and Libya are wise to revolt, though it is true to that often in history revolts usher in worse regimes.

  • Porcell

    Jim, Paul was right to caution Christians to obey constituted authority, while maintaining their Christian faith. Living under what was an overwhelming Roman empire, it would have been foolish to rebel against its civil authority.

    However, while some revolutions, such as the French one, do turn out to be mistakes, some, such as the American one turn out well. Paul’s advice in Romans to slaves and others was mostly prudential in his time. In our time, while it is wise as a rule to obey civil authority, there comes time when it is wise to throw off the cruel shackles of tyrannical regimes.

    Basically, Paul’s admonition in Romans 13 was prudential, though not necessarily absolute. Any people with a reasonable chance of success does well to revolt against a brutal tyranny. Just now the people in Iran and Libya are wise to revolt, though it is true to that often in history revolts usher in worse regimes.

  • http://nomedicallifeinsurance.ca/ Lorne Marr

    The Libyan people must avail themselves of the opportunity to join their forces with the military since Kadhafi’s position is threatened after the sanctions imposed by the UN.

  • http://nomedicallifeinsurance.ca/ Lorne Marr

    The Libyan people must avail themselves of the opportunity to join their forces with the military since Kadhafi’s position is threatened after the sanctions imposed by the UN.

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