Roundup: Editorial opinions from other papers

Farmington Daily Times
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A volatile Libya becomes even more chaotic

Libya, population 6.2 million, now has three governments; President Barack Obama has admitted that not foreseeing the aftermath of U.S. military intervention there in 2011 was his “worst mistake.”

Libya is now also an ironic gift that doesn’t stop giving. Its absence of effective government means that its long Mediterranean coastline continues to serve as a base for uncontrolled, sometimes deadly African and Middle Eastern migration to Southern Europe. The huge arsenal of weapons Libya accumulated under former leader Moammar Gadhafi has since spread all over the Middle East and Africa, fueling killing in many countries.

Finally, and most relevant today, the absence of an effective, single government there is producing chaos on the ground. The vacuum has permitted Libyan and other elements adhering to the Islamic State to establish themselves there, with access to its oil wealth and to its strategic position, with borders on Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Niger, Sudan and Tunisia.

Of the three “official” governments claiming control, the Council of Deputies sits at Tobruk in the east. The General National Congress is in Tripoli, the former national capital. The most recently created is the Government of National Accord, backed by the United Nations and United States. It was installed in Tripoli earlier this month, arriving by ship, headed by a prime minister, Fayez Sarraj.

There are also numerous tribal and city-based authorities, backed by armed militias, across the country. Bringing them together, under some sort of central control, is a task so far beyond the reach of any or all of the more official governments.

As far as Obama’s admitted mistake in 2011, anyone who knew much about Libya could have provided him counsel that would have prevented the breakup of Libya and, certainly, any U.S. role in bringing that about. Libya is divided into many tribes and regions. It was ruled from independence in 1952 until Gadhafi’s takeover in 1969 by a king who also had an Islamic leadership role. The absolutist Gadhafi was in control from 1969 to 2011. Arab Spring or no Arab Spring, democracy wasn’t going to flower in Libya.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, April 21


We hear our lives in Prince's music

Born Prince Rogers Nelson and known for a spell as the unpronounceable “Love Symbol,” Prince wrote music that was as dynamic, prolific and continually inventive and, for real though, as fun as the discography of David Bowie, another music and fashion icon whose sudden death this year prompted an immediate, anguished outpouring of grief.

Just last month, Prince performed “Heroes” in Toronto and set the Internet on fire. Search posts for video of it now and you’ll see “Content unavailable.” That’s as good a sign as any of how protective Prince was of his copyrights — and how much of a musician’s musician he was. Yet there was a ton of Prince content available Thursday as fans and fellow performers grieved and shared memories, music and disbelief.

Prince found fame in 1982 with “1999” and went on to sell more than 100 million records. He won seven Grammys and an Academy Award for best original song score. He was inducted into and performed at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004 (with a ferocious guitar solo and a fashionable red fedora) and performed at the Super Bowl in 2007 (in an absolute downpour). But people Thursday measured his life less in his moments than theirs. We who grew up with Prince can’t separate his music from our lives.

“Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda used the word, “gutted.” “Today is the worst day ever,” wrote Boy George. “Numb,” wrote Justin Timberlake. “Stunned.” “I LOVED him,” wrote Chaka Khan. “The world LOVED him.”

Dearly beloved,

We are gathered here today

2 get through this thing called life

Prince helped us get through this thing, his music helps still. As playwright Lynn Nottage wrote, Prince helped multiple generations ease “through adolescence into adulthood.” That he won’t help us all ease from adulthood to our older years is hard to fathom. We all just want extra time.

The San Diego Union-Tribune on Friday, April 22