Libyan sanctions don't mean much 

Both the European Union and the United States have decided to impose sanctions against Libya, geared towards top officials and Gadhafi family members. The new measures break diplomatic relations, freeze top officials' accounts, revoke visas, and ban arms sales to Libya.

Unless the standoff goes on for an extended period of time, this will do little to prevent Gadhafi from staging his desperate reign of terror. The country is already well stocked with weapons, and Gadhafi has at least enough currency on hand to hire the reported thousands of mercenaries (who come equipped with their own guns) bolstering his forces and terrorizing detractors.

To the extent that these sanctions do have an impact on Gadhafi, it will be on his ability to leave the country. But at this point, Gadhafi can hardly expect a warm welcome in France or Germany, so this doesn't seem like a very effective measure anyway. At this point, Gadhafi will be forced to fight to retain his political power and his own life.

The problem is, there are very few actions that can be taken which will reduce the level of violence in Libya. Current sanctions are likely to have little effect, and while people have proposed military intervention from U.S. or UN forces, that would probably cause more harm than good in the long run. The best chance Libya has for its own future is the Libyan people.

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Staff Report

Staff Report

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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