As attention focuses on the still-unfolding tragedy in Japan, Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi is methodically annihilating his opponents.
The world watches and does nothing.
There was a window of opportunity earlier this month when a no-fly zone or other decisive action might have made the difference.
But the international community waited.
Since, Gadhafi's forces – using tanks, heavy artillery and airstrikes – have routed insurgents in one important city after another, marching toward what assuredly would be a bloody victory in the rebel capital of Benghazi. Gadhafi would regain control of all of Libya, and the chances for a more democratic regime would die.
The United Nations and NATO will likely let it happen. The repercussions will be sweeping.
Other despots will take comfort in knowing that if they keep control of their military, if they outwait the world's attention, they can hold on to power. Pro-democracy activists across the Middle East will learn another lesson – that when their lives and liberty are on the line, the world will fail to come to their aid.
Over the weekend, the 22-nation Arab League urged the U.N. Security Council to impose a no-fly zone over Libya, a rare invitation for Western military involvement in an Arab country. Again on Wednesday, France, the first and only country to recognize the rebels as Libya's rightful government, called for targeted airstrikes to stop Gadhafi.
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