Stomach-turning news out of Libya:
A ship carrying up to 600 migrants trying to flee Libya has sunk just off the coast of the North African country, the UN Refugee Agency said on Monday, citing witness accounts.
The agency is trying to confirm what happened to the passengers when the vessel broke apart at sea shortly after leaving a port near Libya’s capital Tripoli on Friday, spokesperson Laura Boldrini said.
Another report claims, “The UN’s refugee agency said 16 bodies, including two babies, had been found.” Libyans are blaming NATO, while NATO representatives are claiming it had no knowledge of the the plight of the boat.
Recall that this was supposed to be an intervention to stop a humanitarian disaster. Recall that the U.S. has refused for months to assume the leadership role only it can assume. Recall that overwhelming fire power if brought to bear months back–or at several opportune moments since–could have rid Libyans of the terror from which they are now trying fatally to flee. Barack Obama and his advisor Samantha Power rightly defended the intervention by saying a Libyan massacre would forever be a “stain on the world’s conscience.” What, exactly, do you call this?