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Not everyone on the Left is singing Obama’s praises or is thrilled about the way Qaddafi met his end, however. The United Nations, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, for example, have called for investigations into Qaddafi’s death.
Not surprisingly, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was furious over the death of Muammar Qaddafi. “They assassinated him. It is another outrage,” the Venezuelan dictator said. “We shall remember Qaddafi our whole lives as a great fighter, a revolutionary and a martyr.”
The Stop The War Coalition posted this sharply critical reaction to Obama’s claim of victory in Libya:
Obama increased fighting in Afghanistan along with troops. Libya is the Nobel Peace Prize winner’s second major descent into violence, this time through the NATO proxy… Obama pairs lifting the “dark shadow of tyranny” with the death of Gaddafi and then lectures the Libyan people about inclusivity and tolerance. What an odd world view this is. Libyan cities are in ruin, thousands are dead, many more injured, and the city where the dark shadow was lifted is devastated… This is not about who Gaddafi is. It’s about who we are and how our good name is hijacked by leaders who order violence without any restraint.
“I think it’s a great tragedy for the people of Libya,” said Brian Becker of Answer Coalition, which organized anti-NATO rallies across the country condemning the incursion into Libya. “They’ve taken out the leader and replaced him with a new government, which will be basically a NATO client regime.”
Qaddafi’s death is “no vindication of U.S. policy,” wrote Matthew Rothschild, the editor of Progressive, which describes itself as one of the leading voices for peace and social justice in this country.
When Obama committed the American military to intervene in Libya last March, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan turned on Obama, whom he had supported in the 2008 presidential election. Farrakhan branded Obama as an “assassin.” Commenting on Qaddafi’s death, Farrakhan said “my brother was assassinated.” He compared Qaddafi’s death to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and warned the West: “He will whoop you, living or dead.”
Some of Obama’s past supporters on the Left have been relatively silent on the latest developments in Libya. For example, the unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers, an Obama supporter who broke with the president over his decision to send 30,000 more combat troops to Afghanistan in 2010, has not commented publicly on the latest developments in Obama’s handling of the Libyan war.
Code Pink’s co-founder Medea Benjamin had sharply criticized Obama’s decision to intervene militarily in Libya in March, 2011. However, while just recently she wrote skeptically about Obama’s motives and sincerity in deciding to withdraw all U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of the year, Benjamin has gone radio silent regarding Qaddafi’s death.
Nevertheless, many in the lame-stream media and other leftist circles are exulting in Qaddafi’s death as proof of the success of Obama’s foreign policy. Yet they have no idea, nor seem to care, what comes next in Libya.
An estimated 20,000 portable, heat-seeking missiles that had been stockpiled in Libya are now missing. Many of them may well be in the hands of terrorists, who can use them to shoot down civilian aircraft.
Fundamentalist Islamic law may squelch any semblance of true pluralistic democracy and produce the kind of Islamic state ruled by politicians rather than ayatollahs that Nicholas Kristof was so afraid would sprout up in Iraq.
Libya is divided by regional and tribal factions without any nationally unifying force other than their opposition to the now deceased Qaddafi. They will have to build political and civil institutions virtually from scratch. Since Obama has committed to help the Libyan people in this regard, will the U.S. be signing up for yet another expensive nation-building exercise?
Finally, Libya is just a sideshow. As former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said, the United States has no vital interest at stake in Libya. Qaddafi posed no present danger to this country. However, Iran does pose a critical threat. With his failed policy of engagement, Obama has allowed the Iranian threat to escalate to an alarming degree.
Many of Obama’s supporters on the Left may savor Obama’s “victory” in Libya, but it is a minor league win at best.
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