His dirtbag “reformer” son, Seif, promised earlier today that it’ll all be over within 48 hours, which doesn’t seem unrealistic given the pace of recent advances. I’m sure the UN hopes it’s true: They’ve been waiting patiently for Qaddafi to finish off the rebels for weeks now so that they don’t have to act. Any further delay would be a bit, well, embarrassing.
The horrible thought occurs to me: Come this weekend, will the death toll be higher in Japan or in Benghazi?
The Libyan army issued an ultimatum on Wednesday to residents of the opposition capital Benghazi, warning them to leave rebel-held locations and weapons storage areas by midnight, Libyan television reported.
A text on the screen of Al-Libya television addressed inhabitants of the eastern city, saying the army was coming “to support you and to cleanse your city from armed gangs.”
How crude is the propaganda? This crude. From the MSNBC piece linked up top:
“Advise your duped sons to hand over their weapons to the armed forces or the People’s Leadership and they will be covered by an amnesty requested by the Commander (Gadhafi), which will be valid for any person who hands over his weapon to the armed forces and refrains from resistance and subversion,” it said.
Benghazi residents said they had found leaflets scattered in the streets also telling them they would not be punished if they gave up the fight.
Repeating assertions by Gadhafi, the leaflets said the rebels were linked to al-Qaida militants or high on drugs.
A few more minutes for you from Hillary’s chat with Blitzer this afternoon. What’s amazing about this clip — apart from the feebleness of continuing to insist that Qaddafi’s lost legitimacy — is that her case for not intervening isn’t based on traditional noninterventionist arguments. She doesn’t say that we’re too overextended fiscally and militarily to do anything; she doesn’t claim that it’s wrong to risk American lives for a cause that doesn’t bear directly on U.S. national security. Her argument, essentially, is that if the U.S. imposes a no-fly zone unilaterally, Qaddafi and his apologists will say that we’re doing it to steal their oil. Which is true: He’ll absolutely say that, but then he’d also have people believe that the rebels in Benghazi are Bin Laden henchmen who are tripping on acid. In other words, if we act alone we’ll generate bad PR and weaken our hand diplomatically in the region — even though our hand’s already fantastically weak and even though failing to intervene has bad PR consequences of its own. A sample quote via the Journal from a Libyan man who had to flee Ajdabiya with his kids when Qaddafi’s goons rolled into town: “Tell Obama I’m pleading with him—launch just one airstrike here. Prove that Gadhafi was wrong when he said that America only cares about business interests, not human rights.”
Anyway, it’s too late now.