Media Fears Rise of Anti-Brotherhood Libyan General

I was writing about General Hifter's power play, fairly early on. Here's an article from 2014. And some of the story from back then.

A retired Libyan general has said he wants to cleanse Libya of the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist radicals.

Khalifa Haftar blamed them for widespread lawlessness in the country.

The operation, dubbed Al-Karama (dignity), was launched because the "Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt is the driving forces behind extremists arriving in Libya."

"This opened the eyes of Libyans," he added.

He called the Brotherhood a “malignant disease that is seeking to spread throughout the bones of the Arab world”.

Hifter didn't pull it off then, but he's trying again.

And the media and the Obama foreign policy elite are none too happy as he now appears to have President Trump's backing.

Trump’s language about Haftar last week was telling: He cited Haftar’s “significant role in fighting terrorism,” in his statement describing the call he had conducted with the general days earlier. There was no record of a phone call between Trump and the prime minister Washington backs, Fayez Sarraj. Since well before the Trump administration, the counterterrorism imperative has helped justify U.S. backing for undemocratic rulers seen as partners in fighting extremists, while staying comparatively silent on restricted freedoms, political prisoners, and various other human-rights abuses. More recently, since the Arab Spring and the rise of the Islamic State, Haftar and others like him have attracted sympathy in Western democracies with the argument that only authoritarian rule can stabilize fragile countries, contain extremism, and halt migrant flows.

Jonathan Winer, who served as the United States envoy for Libya during the Obama administration, wrote in a recent report.

Haftar then pledged to rid the country of “the beards” and the “Muslim Brotherhood,” through prison, exile, or the graveyard, Winer wrote. “He stated that of the three places, everyone would agree the graveyard was the best.”

You can see why they're unhappy.


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