Tom Foreman | BIO
Reporter's Note: Events in Japan have captivated the world's attention, which is why in today's letter to the White House I'm writing about something else.
Dear Mr. President,
Timing, as you have probably heard, is everything. Well, most of the time. Ha! Kidding aside, I have had a serious thought about timing since yesterday. I suspect the earthquake in Japan may have occurred at precisely the right time to help Moammar Gadhafi hold onto power in Libya.
Think about it. After that initial surge by the anti-government forces, the long time Libyan leader was rallying his troops and counter-attacking. While his worldwide opponents were lobbing words at him, he was lobbing artillery shells at his foes closer to home. From this great distance it appeared that the momentum, pushed by heavy armaments, was already shifting in his favor. And now that the world's attention has been distracted, I have a feeling he will hammer down on the protesters with an even more focused vengeance, and pretty soon their movement will be nothing but a Wikipedia note.
Maybe not. Perhaps if they get some support from outside or somehow hold on to a few strongholds until the Japan crisis passes a bit, the world may return to considering their situation. But I would not bet on that.
Movements like the ones sweeping the Middle East, in my experience, seem to flare up, burn white hot for a while, and if they don't produce the change that people expect, they tend to crumble. On top of which, a furious offensive by a well-armed military can not only crush people, but can also destroy the will of even those who survive the assault.
You can't blame the world for turning its thoughts to Japan right now. But heaven knows how long that will last, and heaven knows what will happen in Libya before the world comes back to it. Like I said, timing is everything.
Not trying to be a downer, but just thought I'd mention it. Hope all is well.
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