Liberating Libya for Jihadists

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If these reports about the LIFG are accurate, then the U.S. endorsement and financing of the NATO operation to oust a defanged Gaddafi, who presented no immediate threat to us, without any idea of who would take his place, is as shortsighted as the abandonment of another unsavory but geopolitically stabilizing figure, Egypt’s Mubarak. This lack of prudence, moreover, is still being camouflaged by the usual question-begging rhetoric about the “march of freedom” and democracy’s irresistible spread, with all the liberalizing boons assumed to follow the removal of an autocratic thug and the establishment of democratic machinery absent the liberal values that such machinery is supposed to serve. We forget that those values in the West are the fruit of 25 centuries of difficult, doubtful development from the legacies of Athens, Rome, and Jerusalem. We simply keep repeating the mantra that the “love of freedom” exists in everyone, a half-truth that ignores the fact that many other desires inhabit the human breast, such as the desire to serve and obey God, and that these can conflict with the love of freedom, and often take precedence over it. And how do we know that the “freedom” demanded in the Middle East is the freedom we believe in? What if it means the “freedom” to be a good Muslim living under Shari’a law, as we are told by both the NTC’s draft constitution, and the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam, whose Article 24 reads, “All the rights and freedoms stipulated in this Declaration are subject to the Islamic Shari’ah”?

This is not to say that Muslims are incapable of liberal democracy, which is usually how reservations like those above are mischaracterized. It just means that for liberal democracy to develop in the Muslim Middle East, it will take much more than merely removing autocrats and holding elections. It will take a critical mass of Muslims themselves figuring out how to reconcile traditional Islam and Shari’a law with notions like universal human rights, tolerance for minorities, separation of church and state, and all the other bedrock principles of liberal democracy. Based on our own experience in Afghanistan and Iraq, the possibility of this sort of reconciliation seems remote. Despite our decade-long efforts in those countries, complete with billions in aid and the presence of thousands of our troops, the jury is still out whether genuine, lasting democracies will take hold there.

Seductive, unreflective idealism is no basis for a foreign policy. National interest and security are. In Libya, the alleged interest is merely the illusion that Middle Eastern “democracy” will trump the traditional theology of Islamic jihad that drives the jihadists, ultimately marginalizing them and removing them as a threat. In the process, we may be empowering and arming that same enemy, as seems increasingly to be the case in Egypt.

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  • tarleton

    At this moment in time , moslems ARE incapable of liberal democracy ….''don't cast pearls before swine ''…these folks have a quasi medieval mindset completely unsuited to democracy … would liberal democracy have worked in 16th century england or france ?
    Democracy is a slow evolutionry process which builds on a secular foundation of logic and reason …the best the moslem world can hope for is a kemal attaturk to guide and sheperd them into rational modernity …these folk are so backward , ignorant , fanatical and superstitious it's hard to imagine them learning tolerance and pluralism short of a generation or two

  • ze-ev ben jehudah

    When Chamberlaine came back from a visit to Germany. He told the free West
    "you can all go to sleep because Mr Hitler confirmed to me that he won't attack
    Belgium-the Netherlands and Brittania.We all know where that fairy tale took us.
    And of course there were a lot of intelligent people who warned their
    gouvernements for the dangers nazi Germany would invoke on us and that started
    as early as 1934. Today we freed the Midle Eastern countrys of their divers
    dictators.Even the U.N. with the U.S.A. in front started bombing them from their
    holes. And everybody is telling us you can all go to sleep because now the
    democratic processes will make those poor repressed people free.
    The Muslim brotherhoods have taken over??? and our head of states will tell
    us don't worry we will help those poor brotherhoods to see the light.
    Why is it then that I'm worried to dead I feel like Mowgly when the snake told
    him go to shleep—go to shleep I will take care of every thing don't worry go
    to shleeeeep. And I have nightmare dreams of bearded muslim-hoods are
    banging on my door '''' all Jews and after that all non muslims gather on the
    train stations for relocation and fitting work.
    Wich strong statesman can rid me of this nightmare….Please!!! ther is so
    little time left.

  • zsqpwxxeh

    Just beginning to figure this out, are we? Remember: a politician never admits that he has been played for a dupe.

  • Lou J Apa

    Dear Fellow World Citizens;
    Can we all say "Muslim Brotherhood"?????…he middle east will coalesce to one massive bastion of Muslim brotherhood with Sharia at it's core. The West will lose, big time. Pray for world peace!!!

  • ObamaYoMoma

    Based on our own experience in Afghanistan and Iraq, the possibility of this sort of reconciliation seems remote. Despite our decade-long efforts in those countries, complete with billions in aid and the presence of thousands of our troops, the jury is still out whether genuine, lasting democracies will take hold there.

    Yeah right. It was a foregone conclusion even before those fantasy based missions were ever launched that would never happen.

  • Asher

    Heck, These people have been fighting amongst themselves since the beginning of their existence. They will never get along with each other, thats why some Arabs in Israel do not want a Palestinian State. There will not be more democracy with these new regimes in place.

  • WilliamJamesWard

    Western Nations may put any spin on what is happening today and down the road
    but in the end we will all be fighting Islamism for our survival. It is absurd to think
    they would be like us when they blow themselves up trying to spread their own
    vision which holds us in contempt as slaves or dead.

    If you placed them in communities here in America, the land of the free and home
    of the brave, would they change into what is being foisted as democratically in tune
    and longing for our values, no. Hasen't this been tried in all Western lands and
    they are no more than Islamist colonists. Look at America with it's growing
    Muslim no go zones, they do not assimilate, they subvert and seek to destroy
    American culture with the aim of substituting their Islamist Caliphate.

  • Jim

    No one should be surprised if the fanatics do take over. They have been around the longest,are well organized and their followers far out number any other segments of their populations. They have a clear cut goal and are willing to die in great numbers for it.

    On the otherhand they are so regressive that except for purchases a, help and theft as an armed force they will never be much more than terrorists.

    The one ace in the hole they have are western politicians who attack the anti Jihadis as the real enemy.

  • g_jochnowitz

    Here is a horrible story of honor murder in Libya:

  • Flowerknife_us

    Those who decried Bush for Nation building are all suddenly in joyous rapture for it now???__Meanwhile- we have some 90,000 or so Troops exposed in Afcrapistan trying to kill who were helping in Libya???__About the time of Bush becomming a lame Duck-did both Afcrapistan and Iraq recieved a constitution with Islamic Law held supreme-or not?__Is it remotely possible that along with the shift in the power structure there was a shift on whos side we are actually on?__Bush still gets blamed at every opportunity-except "spreeding Democracy" A subject he was berated for for 6 years. No point blaming him for a policy, that,_ in reality,died as a matter of policy, some time ago,__If those pretty words like "The Arab Spring" had any meaning, Iran would be a different Country by now. After all those years of universal hope that Iranian Youth who "love America" would rise against their masters were lost.__Osamma Obamma was just soooooooo smooooooth in selling them out wasn't he?__Think of Americas future with the total loss of Middle East Oil and Sea transit in tandum with the current Administrations energyless policy. Just how far out is that day- the car hits bottom- that has already been driven off the cliff?__

  • esperantominoria

    Lybia is lost folks,the terrorists are going to take over,the minority real moderates there do not have the guts to really fight because they know the population is indifferent to their liberal ideas.

    abnsat has done it again

    Watch this debate between a muslim and an ex-Muslim on "Why should the US adopt Shariah?"


    A few years ago Quebec and Ontario in Canada prohibited Sharia Law,just like that,no big problem.The Muslims have not tried anything since.The lesson learned:to show character works with anti-human rights admirers.

    One of the Few Muslim Groups that are Really Moderate

    At least it looks like it,I may be wrong.They are the Alevis,the Second Largest Muslim group in Turkey>

    The following article also has links to articles about the Peaceful Ahmadiyas and the Anti-Human rights Salafis: