Not much has happened newswise today, so I’m going to hark back to something else I read in this morning’s papers. This is another item from the WSJ, an opinion piece by John McCain, which begins:
The people of Libya have again confounded their critics. Once dismissed by many as al Qaeda fanatics in a tribal backwater, doomed to despotism or chaos, Libya voted on Saturday with a higher turnout than most mature democracies.
International monitors certified the balloting, which I witnessed first-hand in Tripoli. It now appears that Libyans gave plurality support to a centrist political party headed by a U.S.-educated technocrat, Mahmoud Jibril, who then called for a national unity government….
McCain goes on to make the point that we should deepen and strengthen our relationship with this new Libya:
U.S. support will be critical for Libya’s continued success, and it is in our interest to provide it. Libya is strategically located for global trade. It has skilled fighters and shares many of our counterterrorism interests. It has vast natural economic potential, from energy resources, to a pristine coastline, to billions of dollars in former Moammar Gadhafi assets. And it shares our democratic vision for the broader Middle East. With good governance and U.S. support, Libya could punch far above its weight, akin to U.S. partners such as the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Singapore.
Libyans want America to be their partner of choice, and it is time to take our relationship to the next level, starting with the many legacy issues from last year’s revolution….
Finally, he says that what worked in Libya could also work in Syria:
Libya’s experience holds an important lesson for Syria. Those who once insisted that we did not know, could not trust, and should not support the Libyan people are now saying the same about the Syrian people. The two countries are very different, but the ideals that inspired both revolutions are the same. We did the right thing in Libya, and while there is no guarantee that Libyans will succeed, they have a great chance.
It is every bit in keeping with our democratic ideals—and even more in our national interest—to halt the slaughter in Syria and help the Syrian people gain the same chance to succeed that the Libyan people now have…
As usual when McCain talks foreign policy, I tend to agree.