Today, it is so much easier to satisfy that appetite – to overflowing, to be sure – thanks to news stations such as CNN, Fox News, and even BBC World’s newscasts. That’s not to mention the continuously updated newspaper and magazine websites, blogs, and so much more.
It’s such a different world from the three days of black and white TV news coverage when John F. Kennedy was assassinated, or the funeral coverage of Sir Winston Churchill, which I remember seeing as a young boy, perched on the living room floor in front of the TV.
Seeing the fight by the rebels (National Transitional Council) against loyalist Gadhafi forces, complete with commentaries, reports from correspondents holed up in a Tripoli hotel, and more, makes it easier to get a tiny glimpse of what that fight for freedom means.
The people of Libya have been under the thumb, literally, of a cruel dictator for 42 years. Their lives have been subjected to the whims of both their leader and his minions, stripped of so many of the freedoms we as Americans take for granted.
Fighting has ebbed and flowed in that Northern Africa country of between six and seven million for the past six months.
There have been many times where the battle has ebbed and flowed, favoring one side or the other. In fact, things seemed like they were in a stalemate for the last few months.
The rebels were aided in their cause by NATO, with the lead taken by France, the UK, and some other countries. But the U.S. provided strategic support that has reportedly been vital to success of the operation.
And, of course, even as I write this, it isn’t as though everything is a “done deal.”
Libya is a country that lacks strong independent institutions and support systems upon which the new rulers, whoever they turn out to ultimately be, can turn.
After all, most of its citizens have never known life under anyone else but the tyrant Gadhafi.
It would be hard to make any kind of a direct comparison with the American colonies, which, while they rebelled against King George III, had far more autonomy and freedom than today’s Libyans.
While there is rejoicing in the streets now, the road won’t be clear cut and free of obstacles in the immediate future and beyond.
The TNC must create a plan for taking over as governing body during a transitional time. It will also be essential that law and order be maintained, and that essential public services be provided.
And it’s also vital that all parts of the country be united, as quickly as possible. That won’t be so easy in a country that is divided by many different tribes.
Reports indicate that the TNC has done a relatively good job of setting up representative government in the areas it has controlled, in some cases, for months.
I wish Libya success, as it passes from the stage of siege under a tyrant, to a country that hopefully bestows far more self-determination into the hands of its citizens.
Although I crave a great news story, or ongoing drama as in this case, I crave just as much that good will come out of the hardship, the lost lives, that has been the fate of so many in a battle such as this.
Undoubtedly, Americans, maybe even some Davis County residents, will have a chance to make things better for the people there. Let’s stay tuned for any ways we can help these people, so far away and yet so near, as they launch new lives, dare now to create realities from their dreams, for a better life, hopefully a secure future.