Protecting the Enemy in Libya?

Matt Gurney is a columnist and editor at Canada’s National Post. Follow him on Twitter: @mattgurney


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Even if the anti-Gaddafi rebels aren’t reporting directly to Osama bin Laden, they are certainly drawing on the valuable experience of jihadist fighters who cut their teeth battling NATO troops in Afghanistan or coalition troops in Iraq. Libyans formed one of the largest groups of foreign fighters who battled with the American-led coalition in Iraq, and many of them are now battling Gaddafi, while American, British and Canadian pilots risk their lives to make it easier for these former insurgents to advance. Gaddafi, for all of his atrocious and unforgivable terrorist acts, did serve at least one strategic purpose for the West — he fought al-Qaeda’s influence in Libya (and initially blamed them for the protests against him) because al-Qaeda would like to see Gaddafi gone.

Such reports of the composition of the Libyan rebellion become more worrisome by the day. Since the rebels are clearly having difficulties defeating Gaddafi, and since the NATO forces are essentially stuck there until they do or Gaddafi chooses to leave, there has been speculation that the allies might choose to provide the rebels with the kinds of heavy weapons that would let them fight Gaddafi’s forces on a more equal footing. No announcement along these lines has been made, and rightly so. While arming the rebels would allow them to fight Gaddafi on a more equal footing, at this point, with no clear leadership among the rebels, no clear goal and no reason to expect that they are not at risk of falling under the influence of terrorist groups committed to our destruction, we should not be providing them with high-tech weapons that could in turn be used against us or Israel. It may be some time before we have the knowledge needed to make a reasonable assessment of whether we can trust some or all of rebels — according to reports issued Wednesday night, the first CIA teams are just starting to rush to Libya now. No doubt what they report will help determine what the allies do next in this strange and risk-laden war.

It is very possible that we have already gone too far to go back. Gaddafi’s international credibility — not that there was ever very much of that — has been destroyed. His military has been left in ruins. Many regime officials have abandoned him, and the oil export facilities that are the backbone of Libya’s economy are being captured and recaptured so often it will be a miracle if anything survives. It is hard to imagine how the rebels will not eventually have some form of influence in Libya, and if they are truly Islamist-backed, and there is rising evidence to suggest a significant percentage of them are, then there might very well be a repeat of what is unfolding today in Egypt: a dictator is toppled, and the door is opened, in a Khomeini-like scenario, to something far worse — and devastating to American and Western interests.

Thus, one of the top priorities of the NATO-led coalition must now be to avoid ushering Islamist forces into power. Whether the Obama administration, with its foreign policy incompetence and America-Last vision, is up to the task remains the agonizing and depressing question.

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  • crazy horse

    American administration is retard or does it on purpose?Who supplied Mojaheddin in Afghanistan with stinger missiles in 1980's????

  • http://www.fx-exchange.com/ Bowmanave

    America will establish a more islamist puppet in libya just like Iraq. the reason america actually wants islamic laws is because its a tool that can be used even against their puppet to keep them under control. sharia law is an insurance policy for the west. the elites know that sharia law can be played against anyoone in west and people will get behind them in a similar way in case there is a conflict. all the so called radical islamist parties are funded and manufactured in west to destabilize any progressive independent government they despise. who funds muslim brotherhood? who funds aljazeera? their head quarters are in london. there are plenty of agent provacatuer under the guise of being a radical imam in britain as well as in america. they just do what their masters tell them to do.

    • WildJew

      In what way is sharia law is an insurance policy for the west? Where is the evidence Afghanistan under Taliban / al Qaeda (with its harsh, oppressive) rule was an "Islamist" puppet state for the west? Where is the evidence Iran (a nation under rigid sharia law) is an "Islamist" puppet state. As Obama furthers the advance of the harshest interpretation of Islam in the Middle East, how will this be an insurance policy for the west?

  • http://apollospaeks.townhall.com ApolloSpeaks

    LIBYA, THE FRENCH CONNECTION AND THE SPECTER OF VIETNAM

    If there's any lesson that this country should have learned from the French it's this: DON'T FOLLOW THEM INTO WAR. The last time we did we got the long, losing military Odyssey called Vietnam and spent years at enormous cost in lives and treasure trying to clean up their mess. And here we go again with history repeating itself in a different part of the world with the French spearheading a war* against the despot of a former European colony and the US blindly following suit…….

    Click my name to continue reading this widely linked article on my top townhall.com blog.

  • morristhewise

    Freedom has its price, and Libyans that want a Democratic system have to pay it. Oil companies must be guaranteed a larger share of extraction profits, in return they will support the establishment of a two party system. The result will be a lower standard of living for most Libyans, but they will have their freedom.

  • http://www.therepublicrevealed.com/ Victor Laslow

    Obama is giving aid and comfort to the enemy. Soon he will arm the same insurgents who killed American soldiers so they can attack Israel.
    He intended to destroy Israel all along now he is implementing his plan. Obama just needed to wait until after healthcare passed, it did so now its Israel’s turn. This is an old video that nobody believed when it came out. Now if you watch maybe you will.
    Victor. http://www.therepublicrevealed.com/forums/index.p

  • Glenn Kirby

    Remember "James Bond", the mastermind of British Intelligence? Where is the intelligence regarding whom these masked rebels really are, now receiving UN backing in Libya?One thing is certain the world must contend with over 6 million jihadists militarily preparing themselves to unleash a reign of terror on Christians and Jews.America is hated as is Israel.Gadaffi is the necessary evil in Libya and North Africa and he understands the culture of Arabs more than the West could ever imagine.The architects of war and bombbardment do not posess a clue as to how Arabs think and how they have survived for thousands of years under dictatorships.

  • USMCSniper

    Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi, the Libyan rebel leader, has said al Qaeda jihadists who fought against allied troops in Iraq are on the front lines of the battle against Muammar Gaddafi’s regime. Mr al-Hasidi insisted his fighters “are patriots and good Muslims, not terrorists,” but added that the “members of al-Qaeda are also good Muslims and are fighting against the invader”.

    Ahhhh..hmmmm… NATO and we are the invader… and the inepts Obama and Clinton are going arm the rebels? What a cluster f*&k!!!

    • BS77

      This Libyan "adventure" is actually causing incredible damage to a poor country…..now instead of "saving lives" we are putting huge numbers of women, children and elderly Libyans in danger, making refugees by the thousands….people now searching for shelter, food, water and medical help. The whole operation is a bomb bomb bomb and hope for the best kind of mess. Of course Kadaffi should go…he could have been taken out ages ago. Now we see a poor nation's towns, roads and infrastructure being destroyed….for what? For these so called rebels who insist on wasting all their ammunition by shooting in the air? What are we getting into here?

  • BLJ

    Kill them all and let Allah sort it out.

    • Fred Biffle

      Check out Debka… according to sources, Lybia did not “give up” all of its WMD when it decided to play nice with the west. The “Rebels” recently liberated many stores of mustard and nerve gas shells and sold them to Iranian backed Hezzbulla and Hamas. according to “sources” the convoys are being tracked into Sudan.
      Probably waiting for the convoy to be far away from populated area before dropping a dime on their A$$. No other source to confirm, seems plausible.

      source : http://www.debka.com/article/20811/

  • tagalog

    If the Libyan rebels we're supporting are Muslim, anti-Western, jihadists, it won't just be a catastrophic nightmare that we're using our military might to aid them; it will be President Obama joining those who are making war on the U.S.A, giving aid and comfort to our enemies, and will make him guilty of treason. Maybe it's a good thing he didn't consult with Congress and acted unilaterally.

  • LindaRivera

    "anti-Gaddafi insurgency is fortified with militant Islamists and even al-Qaeda-linked operatives who were formerly in the business of killing Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan"

    There is nothing new about the U.S. taking the side of Muslim radicals and terrorists. It is a frightening pattern. In Kosovo, in the nineties, US/NATO took the side of the KLA Muslim terrorist organization. US/NATO waged ruthless war on Kosovo's Christian Serbs. During the Second World War, Christian Serbs rescued and hid hundreds of downed American military and allies. An entire village of Serbs were put to death for refusing to divulge the hiding place of the Americans and allies. US/NATO paid the hero Christian Serbs back with destruction, killings and war.

  • LindaRivera

    America is bankrupt!

    This war is something for the Muslims to take care of! Not America, UK or any other non-Muslim countries! If the Muslims want a war, let the Muslims use their military, their planes, their money!

    We will come out of this (who knows when?) even more financially damaged and even more fanatically hated.

  • Al'Marri

    I agree with Linda Revera. I found it laughable that out of all the aircraft provided for the no fly zone, only 4 came from Arab countries. Have we learned nothing from past mistakes of helping Muslims, help that all too often resented. I heard the current unrest in the middle east being equated to 1989 when eastern European states threw off communism. In my view I equate it to 1979 when Khomeini highjacked the Iranian revolution. Look at what a disaster that has produced. If the Musims want to fight amongst themselves then let them get on with it. At least they will not be killing us!

  • http://www.chick.com Raymond

    How ironic is it that the FOX News where Sean Hannity has been howling about Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf wanting “Sharia law” to replace our existing laws is the very same FOX News whose parent company, the Rupert Murdoch controlled News Corporation, has as its second largest shareholder Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal?

    Prince Alwaleed’s uncle, King Abdullah, actually rules Saudi Arabia under Sharia law. Prince Alwaleed, who is reported to enjoy a close personal relationship with Murdoch, has become so enamored of Murdoch’s media success that he is starting his own 24 hour news station, a venture dubbed the “Arabic FOX News” by Raw Story.

    Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch has partnered with Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal to launch a new 24-hour news network for the Arab world, a move that has drawn mockery from Murdoch’s critics and questions from media experts. First and foremost among those questions is whether a news service linked to the famously pro-Israeli Fox News will resonate among Arab viewers.

    “Fox News, famous for its uncomplicated, gung-ho and pro-Israel stance whilst maintaining a mocking notion of neutrality, does not seem like a likely partner” for the Middle Eastern news network, writes David Roberts at the Gulf Blog. “Their coverage of Middle Eastern issues is far from renowned or competent.”

    The new channel, based in Saudi Arabia, “will focus on development in Saudi Arabia and the Arab world on the political, economic and social fronts,” Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the world’s 19th-wealthiest person according to Forbes, said in a statement. The network will be competing with the two principal international Arabic news services, Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya, and “is going to become an addition and an alternative for viewers,” bin Talal said.

  • Jim_C

    So you guys were for doing something about Libya last week, but now that we have, you've changed your mind?

    Got it.

  • John Velvet

    Perhaps emerging leaderships in the world are driven by ideologies, not pragmatism. Such leadership will seek influence from foreign ideological leaders, "brothers in thoughts", and accept support from foreign pragmatic leaders as long as it serves the purpose.

  • Obamaphobic

    The irony is that Obama won't attack a country like Iran which would be in our national security interests, but he'll attack a country that presents no security risk like Libya. Military action in Libya has no upside at all just a tremendous downside. There is absolutely no purpose for us to be there; it’s not even our oil we’re protecting its France’s. This horrible president can’t get booted out of office fast enough.

  • Deendid

    One thing is certain the world must contend with over 6 million jihadists militarily preparing themselves to unleash a reign of terror on Christians and Jews with Vehicle signs.America is hated as is Israel.Gadaffi is the necessary evil in Libya and North Africa and he understands the culture of Arabs more than the West could ever imagine.The architects of war and bombbardment do not posess a clue as to how Arabs think to Portable Signs and how they have survived for thousands of years under dictatorships.