Obama’s Libyan Disaster

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Anyone who believes that NATO’s overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi is a “success” for President Obama’s foreign policy should listen to the speech of Mustafa Abdul-Jalil, the chairman of the National Transitional Council, at the “liberation day” celebrations in Benghazi: “We are an Islamic country,” the de facto president of Libya proclaimed to the crowds shouting “Allahu Akbar.” “We take the Islamic religion as the core of our new government. The constitution will be based on our Islamic religion.”

Despite these troubling portents for Libya’s future, the brutal end of Muammar Gaddafi is being spun as a “vindication” of President Obama’s foreign policy philosophy, as The New York Times has it. In an obvious swipe at the trigger-happy, unilateralist “cowboy” George Bush, the Times praises Obama’s “carefully calibrated response” that “relies on collective, rather than unilateral action” and “on surgical strikes rather than massive troop deployments.” The president himself crowed, “We’ve demonstrated what collective action can achieve in the 21st century.”

Such a reading of the Libyan adventure must rely on ignoring numerous unpleasant facts. Despite the implication that Obama assembled this coalition and thus deserves credit for it, in fact he was dragged into Libya by France and England. The last thing Obama wanted, having demonized the war in Iraq as a “quagmire” leading to “reckless escalation,” was to get Americans involved in yet another conflict involving Middle East Muslims. But the intervention was attractive to the Europeans as a way of gaining some geo-political clout to go along with their pretensions that they are one of the essential “poles” in a “multipolar” world, as French president Jacques Chirac once claimed. And don’t forget that before the conflict, E.U. countries got 10% of their imported oil from Libya. The conflict in nearby Libya, with its population of six million, long Mediterranean coastline, and mostly flat terrain perfect for establishing dominance over airspace, was tailor-made for such prestige-building on the cheap. Gaddafi’s bluster about exterminating the “rats” in rebel-held Benghazi merely provided the moral camouflage for the Europeans.

Moreover, an American president devoted to “multilateralism” and eager to “lead from behind” was amenable to facilitating the charade that this was a NATO operation, even though given European military weakness, America had to provide the intelligence-gathering aircraft, Predator drones, aerial refueling tankers, and precision-guided bombs that were necessary for destroying Gaddafi’s anti-aircraft batteries so that the Europeans could bomb with impunity. Even still, it took eight months and 20,000 sorties for NATO forces enjoying air superiority and high-tech weaponry to defeat a tin-pot dictator and his hired army. As for the vaunted Security Council resolution, which was passed ostensibly to prevent a “genocidal” slaughter, it was quickly revealed to be a sham when it became obvious that NATO was attempting to kill Gaddafi and bring about regime-change. So much for the moral purity of “collective action” sporting the Security Council seal of approval.

More importantly, what American interests was Obama serving by getting involved in Europe’s exercise in geopolitical public relations? Gaddafi was a vicious, blood-stained dictator, and there’s no doubt the world’s a better place without him. But since he had abandoned his WMD programs in 2003, he had behaved himself as far as our interests were concerned. We have the photos of Gaddafi smiling with Condoleezza Rice and President Obama himself to prove it. The talk about punishing the architect of the Lockerbie bombing that killed 189 Americans was a specious pretext, since we’d known for years Gaddafi was responsible. Indeed, Libya had admitted as much and paid $2.16 billion to the families of the American victims of the bombing. In 2008 another $1.5 billion was put into a fund to compensate victims of other Libyan terrorist attacks. These payments were the price for the removal of Libya from the list of states supporting terrorism, the lifting of trade sanctions, and the restoration of diplomatic relations with the U.S. Given that diplomatic rapprochement, it’s hard to see what had changed so drastically in Gaddafi’s behavior that justified American involvement in getting rid of someone we had previously admitted back into our good graces. After all, there are numerous oppressive dictators––Bashar al-Assad in nearby Syria comes to mind, not to mention the thuggish mullahs in Iran––that this administration has resigned itself to coexisting with. And unlike the defanged Gaddafi, they’re patently hostile to us and actively working against our interests.

Our precipitate abandonment of Gaddafi has already put at risk our national security. The collapse of Gaddafi’s regime engineered by NATO has set loose thousands of weapons, some of which are very likely headed to the black markets supplying terrorists. In February, rebels were documented plundering assault rifles, machine guns, mines, grenades, antitank missiles, and rocket-propelled grenades from arms depots. According to government officials in Chad and Algeria, some of these weapons have already reached the North African al Qaeda affiliate Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. Particularly worrisome are the SAM-7 surface-to-air missiles, 20,000 of which were stockpiled by the Gaddafi regime. These weapons have in the past brought down commercial airliners, including an Air Rhodesia plane, an Angolan Airways 737, a Sudan Airways plane, and the plane carrying the presidents of Burundi and Rwanda, which led to the Rwandan genocide. And don’t forget the remnants of Libya’s WMD program, including 10 tons of mustard gas and dumps of raw nuclear fuel, that we are depending on the NTC to secure, on the assumption that it will in fact be able to restore order over the numerous heavily armed tribal factions, and account for the missing weapons and secure the remainder before they end up in the hands of terrorists.

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  • Steve

    But isn't this what Obama was aiming for all along?

    • Beth

      I believe so

    • Roy

      Everything that Obama has done is exactly what he meant by Changing America when he ran for president. In his eyes and all of his socialist followers he is a complete success.

  • http://www.microtopia.org aligzanduh

    Please also bear in mind that Gadaffi though a bullying autocrat running a police state – brought Libya to have the highest metrics of any country in africa on life span, education and the like. No one was homeless in Libya. He had a v low prison population he supported Mandela when we called Mandela a terrorist. Blacks, Women, And the two biggest tribes along with many other tribes prefer Gadaffi's Jamahiriya to a Western Imposed Jihaadist Terror State. The world is not black and white – it is a complex place. And Gadaffi was neither good nor evil. He was a bedouin who transformed Libya and like castro would not leave power.

    • Bertram Cabot Jr.

      And he made the trains run on time, too!

    • tanstaafl

      Life is black and white. Good vs Evil.

      • mlcblog

        I do agree, but there are subtleties when dealing with imperfect (all of us) people, and someone who can make lots of folks happy is a natural leader.

    • ziontruth

      You're just confirming that, in the Islamic world, the only choice is between bad and badder: Between a brutal semi-secular dictatorship and an even more brutal Islamic theocracy.

    • UCSPanther

      Funny. I thought all the anti-zionists/anti-americans were all eager to throw Gaddafi under the bus, albeit with a little more reluctance than they were with regards to Hosni Mubarak and Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

    • WSK

      Ask the victims of PanAm flight 103 if Kaddafyduck was evil. Whoops, can't do that.

  • Reason_For_Life

    After three years of trying Obama finally manages to establish a Shariah state tying him with Jimmy Carter who has one Shariah state to his credit. Obama hopes to put up a second state on the Shariah scoreboard which will tie him with George Bush the current champion with Shariah states in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Bush, who conquered more territory for Islam than anyone since Saladin stands to drop into second place if Obama can succeed in both Syria and Turkey.

    With most of the Middle East conquered the next American president will have to look to Europe and Asia if he wants to continue the spread of Shariah.

    • mlcblog

      Awesome and eery observations.

  • Amused

    Yea imagine that , Libya was such a 'good country " with a "good badguy dictator " , and everyone there was so happy , even those who were dirt poor and had nothing , those who were tortutured jailed and killed , yes so happy ,that they revolted against a tyrant …..and Obama ruined it all !
    As for the other sentiments expressed above , well , we "dragged the British into Iraq and Afghhanistan ".

    LOL….and if Gaddafy was left to his own dervices , and slaughtered part of Libya's population , you'd all be screaming Obama did nothing .
    The right has become a bunch of Rush Limbaugh clones . More proof that morality , and doing the right thing is so obviously linked to partisan politics and nothing else . Remember how everyone screamed about the Clinton Admin. not doiung anything about the Hutu and Tutsi slaughter fest in Africa ? Or the pressure put on [by the right ] to intervene in Yugoslavia's break up and civil wars ? The Sebs although Christians were the bad guys , because they were supported by bthe godless Russians . Partisan politics as usual . What a bunch of unmitigated hypocrites and phonies .

    • WildJew

      Obama's got several prominent Republicans on his side. GOP Rising star, Senator Marco Rubio has praised Obama's actions in Libya – albeit (he) "did not commit enough forces quickly enough" – as has Senator John McCain. A few weeks back, McCain, Mark Kirk of Illinois, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Marco Rubio traveled to Libya.

      There these prominent Republicans met with the nation's new rulers. McCain said: "They have paid an enormous price for their freedom, but the sacrifice of the Libyan people has delivered their great nation to the shores of a new world full of new hope; a chance for all Libyans to know lasting peace, dignity and justice."

      Robert Spencer (Jihad Watch) is one of few who's been warning about the outcome of this misadventure for many months.

    • mrbean

      Obama is Carter II . In retrospect, the Iran-Iraq War would never have occurred had Jimmy Carter not weakened the Shah's regime. This conflict cost the two nations more than 500,000 lives, including thousands of Iranians killed by Saddam Hussein's use of chemical weapons. The Iran-Iraq war triggered the rise of Saddam Hussein as a major power whose invasion of Kuwait was repelled by Desert Storm. The United States refrained from deposing Saddam Hussein in a continuation of the Desert Storm operation out of concern that the resulting "power vacuum" would be filled by Iran's Ayatollahs. The same result will occur in Libya.

    • ziontruth

      For once, Amused, you can get a goodly number of anti-Obama people to agree with you Bush wasn't better in that regard, yet you think partisanship is blinding people. It appears the only partisanship is yours.

      "…and if Gaddafy was left to his own dervices , and slaughtered part of Libya's population , you'd all be screaming Obama did nothing ."

      Who would? Not me, not many others. I think it was only with regard to the uprising in Iran, which was perceived to be against an Islamic regime, that Obama was condemned for not helping the uprisers; in all other cases, most former Iraq War supporters have come to their senses and realized there's little chance of true democratic flowers growing in the Islamic deserts.

    • sod

      The lives lost in those conflicts around the world is dwarfed by millions of innocent babies slaughtered here in the US under the left's so politically correct 'pro choice' movement. How conveniently they forgot that fact on purpose when they try to blame every thing on the right?

      By judging the right is hypocrities and phonies actually tells the world that the left is no different, maybe worse by their own standards.

    • arcadiaP

      You seem to think that the regime that we helped put in power will be better for humanity, well my friend you could not be more wrong. If you are a westerner then you most likely are ignorant of what Shariah law will bring in its wake. I see you have bought into this Arab spring crap.

    • Tatarewicz

      Generally correct except for one error.

      He accomplished precisely what he was ordered to do by his Israeli lobby superiors.

      After all it’s the lobby that arranges the funding, manpower and media for the politicos in Washington and thus is able to direct US foreign policy. Libya presented a threat to Israel by Gadaffi calling for a return of lands stolen by Zionist terrorists to the original Palestinian inhabitants.

  • Diann

    Only the truly naiive are suprised that the Arab Spring countries have chosen Sharia based politics. I think we should stay out of these countries becasue although we spend trillions of dollars with the rhetoric to 'bring freedom and democracy', the fact is that under Islam they cannot have such freedoms. As long as they choose Islam, countries are condemned to the brutality of Sharia. Such theological brainwashing is accomplished when there is an inability to challenge the religion that rules Muslim lives. When will we begin to defend our own country from such fate? Better get started soon or it will be too late.

    • aspacia

      Steyn has written extensively regarding this threat.

  • http://santanstrinity.com C"H"Martel

    My book, "Satan's Trinity: Hitler, Stalin & Muhammad," will be available within the month and one may pre-order at http://www.satanstrinity.wordpress.com/ For the first time in history "HSM" appear together on a book cover. The idea behind the book is to make headway against the ludicrous idea that Muhammad should be conjoined with any religious leader/founder. Once this comparison, driven by actual names, has been made then it must be attacked. Once the attack has been launched then the attackers will be forced to defend their attack. Since the attack is indefensible then the "religion" Muhammad (if he existed) founded will begin to be viewed as the scam it is. This book has been written under the principle of KISS. And nothing is simpler to understand than Hitler and Stalin…..and now, Muhammad. Thank you for your time…….C"H"Martel

  • Elliott Alhadeff

    Israel beware. The deed is done. Our concern now should focus on the appropriate action to take to defend against this obvious Islamic threat while confronting the naively politically correct who will violently oppose and demonize our overt and covert effort to defend our national interests. Who is up to the task? Herman Cain? Mit Romney? Newt Gingrich!

  • StephenD

    We had no business with Libya. We have no business with Uganda. We ignore Iran and Syria and now turn a deaf ear to the sword rattling of Turkey toward our friend, Israel. Egypt is on the brink and will likely end up under the M.B.
    Yep, everything is going exactly as an Anti-American, Pro-Islamist, Socialist Operative would want it to go. If your goal was to undermine American interests abroad and weaken American standing throughout the world and its domestic tranquility through class warfare at home, we must say "Job well done!"

  • Spider

    Chock up another victory for Housein the MU-SLIM King..

  • AntiSharia

    From the frying pan to the fire. By this time next year it's certain that Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Syria, and probably Iraq, will all be Sharia states, and probably under Iranian influence.

    Heck of a job Obama.

  • BS77

    The real victims in Libya are the children, women, the elderly and the poor….now you have a deeply damaged nation, torn to pieces by NATO and war….with soaring unemployment, devastating destruction of the poor nation's infrastructure….militant fundamentalists, much like the Taliban , are ready to turn Libya into another backward hell hole. The international community will have to spend billions to aid Libya now…just for the essentials…water, food, shelter, medical care and re building. It will take a generation to restore Libya. .

    • ziontruth

      You're assuming the man in the Libyan street is anti-shariah. I find that an unwarranted assumption.

  • tanstaafl

    As always, leadership in a Muslim country consists of a strongman who wrests control from the other would-be dictators and rules in the name of Islam.

    This is how Mohammed did it.

  • LindaRivera

    In Libya, “The brigade for purging slaves, black skin”
    - slogan seen painted in rebel country.

    There is mostly silence about the horrors taking place against Libya’s blacks.
    STOP the GENOCIDE of Blacks by the U.S. backed cruel Libya rebels!

    The Obama-supported rebels left in charge are now conducting a “large scale cleaning in the areas under their control with the extermination of all blacks in the capital”, according to The Independent.

    Barbaric atrocities, kidnappings and ruthless genocide of blacks in Libya by US/France/NATO backed Al-Qaeda/Hezbollah rebels has been going on for months.

    US/NATO who have waged war for months for Hezbollah and Al-Qaeda
    who MURDER our troops in Iraq-are RESPONSIBLE for stopping the genocide.

    US/NATO are also responsible for rescuing the many terrified blacks kidnapped by the rebels, including the kidnapped black children who have been horrifically abused by the black-hater Muslim rebels.

    Blacks must have human rights!

    STOP THE GENOCIDE!

  • LindaRivera

    United together in JIHAD, US/NATO, Al-Qaeda and Hezbollah triumph over Libya.

    Admiral James Stavridis, NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, and the commander of the U.S. European Command told the U.S. Senate that Al-Qaeda and Hezbollah fighters are among the Libyan rebels currently receiving support from the US and its NATO allies. This was confirmed by one of the Libyan rebel officers, Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi, who leads one of the Al-Qaeda units.

    U.S/NATO joined with Al-Qaeda and Hezbollah terrorists to wage war.
    Gadaffi did some terrible things. But US/NATO consider barbaric Al Qaeda and barbaric Hezbollah to be good guys to be placed in power in Libya? US/NATO have great guilt in making the world a far more dangerous place.

  • LindaRivera

    WorldNetDaily, AUGUST 06, 2011

    Two U.S. sources currently in Tripoli told G2Bulletin that Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Kaim, who is part of the embattled Gadhafi regime, told them that the Warfalla tribe – one of the largest in Libya – is being joined by other tribes to fight the rebels because of what is described as indiscriminate killing of civilians by Western alliance-backed troops.

    The sources said that Qatari troops, tanks and helicopters "are openly killing these unarmed tribal members. They have their Qatari tanks in the streets of Benghazi. They are actively shooting on unarmed civilians."

    Repeated NATO bombings also have included hospitals, Ramadan food storage warehouses, the country's main water distribution infrastructure, private homes and "more than 1,600 other civilian sites." http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.printable&am

  • Asher

    This was Obama's goals all along to push forward and form One Big Islamic Caliphate, God help us and the people under Sharia in the Middle East, could be Armageddon Soon.

  • BLJ

    Obama is the best thing that has happened for radical Islam since Jimmy Carter.

  • trickyblain

    Of course, one could've written the same article in 2003 swapping "Saddam" for "Qadafi" and had a point. Oh yeah, people did and the Bush lickers called us Anti-American. Only a very very small minority of righties have the moral authority to criticize Obama on these grounds.

    Nice defense of a brutal mass-murderer, there, Thorton. No, Qadaffi was never "accepted" as an ally. And, in this case, not a single American life was lost (as opposed to 4,000-plus and upwards of a trillon dollars). Absolutely sickening hypocrites.

    • BLJ

      It takes one to know one as far as hypocrites go. If Bush had supported an overthrow of Qadaffi people like you would have crucified him. All Obama has done is give radical Islamists another country to add to their list.

      Saddam had proven in the past that he was a threat to the region which in turn made him a threat to U.S. interests. At least that lowlife got a trial before meeting the noose.
      Now Comrade O wants to abandon the Iraqi's to possibly come under the control of Iran.

      Par for the course I say.

      • trickyblain

        Nice that you have knowledge of what I 'would have" done. In reality, I would have fully supported using air power to support an Iraqi popular revolt against Saddam. Likewise, I would not have supported a full-scale ground invasion/occupation of the entire nation of Libya to overthrow Qaddaffi, no matter if it was Obama or Bush giving the order.

        Qaddaffi was implicated in more anti-US activity that Saddam. That's a fact. They were both scum, but getting rid of one was far more effective — in terms of US lives and treasure — than the other.

        A trial…lol.

  • WilliamJamesWard

    Sharia in Libya, Oh Boy! how wonderful, we should have a parade and declare
    the World is now a safe place. I wonder though shouldn't the President show some
    restraint and stop throwing candy out of the White House windows?
    One if cynical might think that all of the upheaval is to keep everyone off guard
    while the family jewels are stolen and we will never see quiet and peace in
    America until law abiding, honest people are returned to public office, but
    Sharia has as good a chance as that happening the way things are going.
    "Alley Oop"…………………………………………………….William

  • ROSE

    Bruce Thornton , you have it all wrong, this is what Obama wants for his Shari law for his Muslim brotherhood countries which will consist of the whole world before long.

    In my opinion Obama is over the Muslim brotherhood. IN CASE YOU DON'T KNOW IT OKLAHOMA, TEXAS AND MICHIGAN HAS SHARI LAW RIGHT NOW IN THE U.S.A.

    PEOPLE ARE ASLEEP. THE TAX PAYERS ARE FOOTING THE BILL SO OBAMA CAN LIVE HIS DREAM ALL THE WORLD UNDER SHARIA LAW, NEW WORLD ORDER.

    OBAMA STARTED WITH, EGYPT, LIBYA AND SOMALIA,YEMEN, TUNISIA, SYRIA, IT WILL BE NEXT THEN ON TO THE HOUSE OF SAUDI AND PAKISTAN ON AND ON.

    • trickyblain

      ROSE,

      1) STOP YELLING.

      2) Can you cite a single Sharia law a US criminal court (including lower fed and state) has used as precedence? If so, let me know. I know some Constitutional attorneys that would have a field day.

      3) If Obama is responsible for Somalia and Tunisia and a bunch of nations he has no power over, does he rule Mars, too? Neptune? How about Venus….Jupiter? Does he rule Uranus, too? How does it make you feel having a black man violently violating Uranus?

  • WSK

    For the sake of brevity: Well, duh!

  • Suzanne Kendall

    To the victor belong the spoils – can't we at least get the oil out of these countries we helped "liberate"?

  • trickyblain

    ANyoe who supported Bush's invasion, costing thousands of American lives, of Iraq….with the EXACT SAME results (a brutal dictator biting the dust) has no room to talk. But that won't stopt them….