The Edmond Sun

Opinion

October 4, 2012

Muslim protests could have a silver lining

(Continued)

More hopefully, the events of the past two weeks — in exposing weaknesses of the post-revolutionary governments — could force leaders to confront realities they and the international community have heretofore been happy to play down. Libya, for example, seems newly inclined to address its biggest problem: pervasive lawlessness and the proliferation of violent militias.

After tens of thousands of Libyans turned out Sept. 22 in Benghazi to protest against the attacks that killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and his three colleagues, the president of Libya's National Assembly, Mohammed Magarief, ordered the disbanding of all militias not sanctioned by the government. The army gave the groups a 48-hour deadline to disarm and to evacuate compounds and public buildings.

Although this was an important and bold step, it isn't a comprehensive solution to Libya's security challenges. Since Moammar Gadhafi's demise, the Libyan government has acknowledged that it is unable to control its entire territory, and militias have operated with impunity across much of the country. At the same time, the government rejected the idea of allowing foreign troops help keep the peace, or that it needed substantial help from the international community in stabilizing the country.

The tragedy in Benghazi underscored that Libya's insecurity isn't just a problem for Libyans, but for its neighbors and the rest of the world. The best outcome will be if Libyans use this moment to ask for more robust security assistance to build a competent national army, track down chemical weapons left over from the Gadhafi era and tamp down reluctant militias. This may not necessarily take the form of a peacekeeping force, but embedded trainers from friendly countries could help bolster the Libyan army's capabilities during a period of vulnerability.

Moreover, Libya might ask the international community for help in integrating members of disbanded militia into civilian life or the nascent army — the U.S. has some experience, albeit of limited success, in such efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Text Only
Opinion
  • Medicaid reform a necessity

    Historically, education spending by the state of Oklahoma has been the largest budget item. This is no longer the case. In recent years, the state of Oklahoma spends more on Medicaid (operated by the Oklahoma Health Care Authority) than common education and higher education combined, according to the state’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.

    July 25, 2014

  • Remembering lessons from 1974

    This week marks the 40th anniversary of an important milestone in America’s constitutional history. On July 24, 1974, the Supreme Court voted 8-0 to order the Nixon White House to turn over audiotapes that would prove the president and his close aides were guilty of criminal violations. This ruling established with crystal clarity that the executive branch could not hide behind the shield of executive privilege to protect itself from the consequences of illegal behavior. It was a triumph for the continued vitality of our constitutional form of government.

    July 25, 2014

  • RedBlueAmerica: Is parenting being criminalized in America?

    Debra Harrell was arrested recently after the McDonald’s employee let her daughter spend the day playing in a nearby park while she worked her shift. The South Carolina woman says her daughter had a cell phone in case of danger, and critics say that children once were given the independence to spend a few unsupervised hours in a park.
    Is it a crime to parent “free-range” kids? Does Harrell deserve her problems? Joel Mathis and Ben Boychuk, the RedBlueAmerica columnists, debate the issue.

    July 24, 2014

  • Technology that will stimulate journalism’s future is now here

    To say technology has changed the newspaper media industry is understating the obvious. While much discussion focuses on how we read the news, technology is changing the way we report the news. The image of a reporter showing up to a scene with a pen and a pad is iconic but lost to the vestiges of time.
    I am asked frequently about the future of newspapers and, in particular, what does a successful future look like. For journalists, to be successful is to command multiple technologies and share news with readers in new and exciting ways.

    July 23, 2014

  • New Orleans features its own “Running of the Bulls”

    On July12, the streets of the Warehouse District of New Orleans were filled with thousands of young men who were seeking to avoid being hit with plastic bats wielded by women on roller skates as part of the annual “Running of the Bulls” that takes place in New Orleans.
    The event is based on the “Running of the Bulls” that occurs in Pamplona, Spain, that is  part of an annual occurrence in which a group of bulls rampage through the streets of Pamplona while men run from them to avoid being gored by their sharp horns. That event was introduced to the English-speaking world by Ernest Hemingway, who included scenes from it in his critically acclaimed 1926 novel “The Sun also Rises.”

    July 22, 2014

  • OTHER VIEW: Newsday: Lapses on deadly diseases demand explanation

    When we heard that the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had created a potentially lethal safety risk by improperly sending deadly pathogens — like anthrax — to other laboratories around the country, our first reaction was disbelief.

    July 22, 2014

  • Holding government accountable for open meeting violations

    A few weeks ago I wrote about the recent success of three important government transparency proposals which will go into law this year.

    July 21, 2014

  • GUEST OPINION — Oklahoma GOP voters want educational choices

    A Braun Research survey released in January showed that Oklahoma voters — Republicans, Democrats, and Independents alike — favor parental choice in education.

    July 21, 2014

  • HEY HINK: IRS interferes with citizens’ rights of free speech

    The patient is gravely ill. We have detected traces of a deadly venom in the bloodstream. We don’t know how widespread the poison is, but we know, if not counteracted, toxins of this kind can rot the patient’s vital organs and could ultimately prove fatal.

    July 19, 2014

  • 130408_NT_BEA_good kids We're raising a generation of timid kids

    A week ago, a woman was charged with leaving her child in the car while she went into a store. Her 11-year-old child. This week, a woman was arrested for allowing her 9-year-old daughter to go to the park alone. Which raises just one question: America, what the heck is wrong with you?

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

Poll

If the Republican runoff for the 5th District congressional seat were today, which candidate would you vote for?

Patrice Douglas
Steve Russell
Undecided
     View Results