Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Arab Spring Coming Undone

Here’s another candidate for the Now-They-Tell-Us Award.

Again, it’s from the New York Times. It suggests, clearly, that the great Obama/Clinton foreign policy team has botched the Arab Spring. It turns out that overthrowing tyrants can unleash some nasty aftershocks.

Who knew?

This morning the Times writes:

As the uprising closed in around him, the Libyan dictator Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi warned that if he fell, chaos and holy war would overtake North Africa. “Bin Laden’s people would come to impose ransoms by land and sea,” he told reporters. “We will go back to the time of Redbeard, of pirates, of Ottomans imposing ransoms on boats.”

In recent days, that unhinged prophecy has acquired a grim new currency. In Mali, French paratroopers arrived this month to battle an advancing force of jihadi fighters who already control an area twice the size of Germany. In Algeria, a one-eyed Islamist bandit organized the brazen takeover of an international gas facility, taking hostages that included more than 40 Americans and Europeans.

Coming just four months after an American ambassadorwas killed by jihadists in Libya, those assaults have contributed to a sense that North Africa — long a dormant backwater for Al Qaeda — is turning into another zone of dangerous instability, much like Syria, site of an increasingly bloody civil war. The mayhem in this vast desert region has many roots, but it is also a sobering reminder that the euphoric toppling of dictators in Libya, Tunisia and Egypt has come at a price.

“It’s one of the darker sides of the Arab uprisings,” said Robert Malley, the Middle East and North Africa director at the International Crisis Group. “Their peaceful nature may have damaged Al Qaeda and its allies ideologically, but logistically, in terms of the new porousness of borders, the expansion of ungoverned areas, the proliferation of weapons, the disorganization of police and security services in all these countries — it’s been a real boon to jihadists.”

The crisis in Mali is not likely to end soon, with the militants ensconcing themselves among local people and digging fortifications. It could also test the fragile new governments of Libya and its neighbors, in a region where any Western military intervention arouses bitter colonial memories and provides a rallying cry for Islamists.

And it comes as world powers struggle with civil war in Syria, where another Arab autocrat is warning about the furies that could be unleashed if he falls.

It’s an excellent piece of reporting. It tells a story that many of us have been warning about for years now.

If this story, coming fast upon the Times report about the anti-Semitism of Mohamed Morsi tells us that the Obama administration is losing the New York Times, our president is going to have a problem continuing his smoke and mirrors act.

All that’s missing from the story is a quote from Colin Powell, to the effect: You break it, you own it.


DeNihilist said...

Hell Stuart, even this dumb plumber could see the consequences of allowing friendly Richard Potatoes to fall. And yes, after Pres. Clinton almost bombed QuaDaffy to "paradise" he saw the light and started somewhat working with the West. Pres Obama is in way over his head -PERIOD!

JP said...

Next up for Obama is the current Chinese/Japanese territorial dispute.

What could possibly go wrong?

Sam L. said...

I suppose now the NYT and related hench-media can stop protecting The Won at all costs, and downgrade to most-to-many costs, but they are still responsible for him.

Stuart Schneiderman said...

I completely agree, he's in way over his head. I keep wondering how long it's going to take the world to wake up to the fact.

Re, Sam's point: I am starting to think that now that the Times has gotten its way and gotten BHO elected, it is going into CYA mode-- protecting itself from the fallout. It must also at some level recognize that it has sold out its journalistic integrity. One wonders how difficult it will be to buy it back.

JP said...

The NYT should be obsolete soon.

Stuart Schneiderman said...

From your keyboard to God's ear....

DeNihilist said...

Just in case my low brow humour was missed by you Uper Class New Yorkers':

Richard Potato = Dick Tater