Saturday, March 8, 2014

The Growing Chaos in Libya

Remember Libya?

Probably not.

It's OK. I understand.

Once Col. Gaddafi was removed, the world turned its attention away from the oil-rich North African state.

During the Arab Spring, when so many good hearts convinced themselves that democracy was breaking out in the Arab world, it was not difficult for a French philosopher to convince the French president to intervene on the side of democracy.

As was his wont, the American president chose to lead from behind.

And, all of this was before the American administration sent an ambassador into the terrorist stronghold of Benghazi, Libya without sufficient security. Young and naïve as the administration was, the State Department, led by one Hillary Clinton failed to assess the risk to Ambassador Stevens. And, when it learned of the attack, the administration chose to do nothing.

Que sera sera….

To be fair, administration policy toward Libya should be judged by the results, not by our feelings about the administration or about French philosophers.

As was thoroughly predictable and was predicted at the time, the situation had nowhere to go but down. As you know, if the fallout from an Obama administration policy is bad you will be less likely to hear about it.

Now, Reuters reports:

Two-and-a-half years after the fall of former leader Muammar Gaddafi, the oil-rich North African state is struggling to contain violence between rival forces, with Islamist militants gaining an ever-stronger grip on the south of the country.

Evidently, this is seriously inconvenient. The looming chaos poses a risk to the oil supply that many western countries rely on:

But with violent disputes between rival tribal factions disrupting exports of Libyan oil, the lack of a stable political foundation is causing growing concern for energy-hungry western countries, several of which were involved in overthrowing the Gaddafi government.

So, our intervention has provoked something that resembles a civil war. The Libyan central government is nearly powerless to stop it.

The weak government in Tripoli is struggling to control well-armed former anti-Gaddafi rebels and Islamist militias, while parliament was stormed by protestors at the weekend who blamed the politicians for the growing chaos.

We need not call this the last judgment, but the situation is clearly deteriorating.

1 comment:

Lastango said...

No one in government in the US, France, or elsewhere in Europe was naive. Tales of influence by philosophers are a fig leaf for a realpolitik military intervention on behalf of Islamist radicals.

Simply put, the Islamists were perceived as the eventual winners in the battle for control of North African governments, and the western powers -- especially the European elites who enrich themselves from trade and petroleum -- wanted to back the right horse.

The best paradigm to muse might be the British Government's release of the Lockerbie bomber in exchange for a sweet deal for BP and some arms exporters. That's how this stuff works. Everything else is bunk.

Enquiring minds can start here: