Instead of Bombing Dictators, Stop Selling Them Bombs


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By Medea Benjamin and Charles Davis

When all you have is bombs, everything starts to look like a target. And so after years of providing Libya’s dictator with the weapons he’s been using against the people, all the international community — France, Britain and the United States — has to offer the people of Libya is more bombs, this time dropped from the sky rather than delivered in a box to Muammar Gaddafi’s palace.

If the bitter lesson of Iraq and Afghanistan has taught us anything, though, it’s that wars of liberation exact a deadly toll on those they purportedly liberate — and that democracy doesn’t come on the back of a Tomahawk missile.

President Barack Obama announced his latest peace-through-bombs initiative last week — joining ongoing U.S. conflicts and proxy wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia — by declaring he could not “stand idly by when a tyrant tells his people that there will be no mercy, and… where innocent men and women face brutality and death at the hands of their own government.”

Within 24 hours of the announcement,