- By Josh Rogin
Former State Department Policy Planning Chief Anne-Marie Slaughter used her brand-new Twitter account on Thursday to call for international intervention on behalf of the Libyan people.
“The international community cannot stand by and watch the massacre of Libyan protesters. In Rwanda we watched. In Kosovo we acted,” Slaughter tweeted, in one of her first ever entries. She confirmed to The Cable that the Twitter account is genuine.
Slaughter seems to be enjoying the freedom to express her opinions openly following her exit from government. Her message goes far beyond what President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have said about the Libyan crisis.
Both Clinton and Obama have said that all options are on the table, but no specific decisions have been made on how the international community might respond to the unfolding crisis in Libya. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said on Wednesday that sanctions and asset freezes are being discussed, but he didn’t mention military intervention.
By invoking Rwandan, Slaughter is comparing the situation in Libya to the 1994 bloodshed that saw 800,000 Rwandans murdered in about 100 days — a clear case of genocide. Likewise in 1999, NATO bombed the Serbian capital of Belgrade following that government’s genocidal actions in Kosovo, although a U.N. court in 2001 decided the situation did not technically constitute genocide.
Libya’s deputy ambassador to the United Nations Ibrahim Dabbashi, who resigned this week in protest of the Libyan government’s brutal crackdown, contended that Col. Muammar al-Qaddafi‘s massacre of civilians constitutes genocide, but no U.S. officials have made such a statement.
Slaughter’s other messages on her first week on Twitter focused on how to use social networks to aid in the Arab uprising spreading throughout the region.
“I think foreign policy has to be quite different in the networked world,” she told The Cable. “To understand it and work within it, I have to join it.”