Ann Arbor, Mich.

THOUGH Libyan government forces have killed and wounded hundreds of civilians in their siege of the western city of Misurata, one of the most telling examples of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s wrath has been thebombing and destruction of a dairy plant there.

In just a few years the Naseem dairy plant, owned by a local family, had achieved what Colonel Qaddafi’s regime could never do: provide Libyans with a decent glass of milk.

I was 5 when Colonel Qaddafi came to power, in 1969. One of my earliest pre-Qaddafi memories is of a small Peugeot maneuvering through a crowd of children playing on our street in Benghazi. A tall man would step out, quickly open the trunk and dash up to each house before getting back in the car. If I blinked, I could imagine that the sweating jug of fresh cold milk on our doorstep had appeared there all by itself.