Well, the United States has finally moved
to freeze all of Gaddafi's assets (several days after the Swiss
had already decided to do so). This is what President Obama had to say about the Colonel in his statement today: "By any measure, Muammar el-Qaddafi's government has violated international norms and common decency and must be held accountable."
Yes, we are freezing his money because he is not normal or decent by international standards (a vague statement that could be applicable to many of the world's leaders). That is the extent of his commentary on Gaddafi himself, saving the rest of his statement for the less personal "government of Libya."
President Reagan referred to Colonel Gaddafi as the "mad dog of the Middle East" and gave this address
from the Oval Office as he ordered airstrikes on Libya. "Colonel Gaddafi is not only an enemy of the United States. His record of subversion and aggression against the neighboring states in Africa is well-documented and well-known... He has sanctioned acts of terror in Africa, Europe, and the Middle East, as well as the Western hemisphere... Despite our continued warnings, Gaddafi continued his reckless policy of intimidation, his relentless pursuit of terror. He counted on America to be passive. He counted wrong."
At that time Gaddafi wasn't even slaughtering his own people. When nations like France, Germany, and Luxembourg (whose foreign minister simply referred to Gaddafi as a "dictator who shoots at his own people") are taking a harder rhetorical line against this bloody villain than the American president, there is an issue. We don't need to go bombing or invading Libya, but President Obama should at least have the, to use his words, "common decency" to call a tyrant a tyrant and a murderer a murderer.