2013 08 08 – Libya

The smoke had not yet cleared when the victory was being touted as a shining example of what Western powers could do on a modern battleground without ever putting “boots on the ground.” 😡

The above statement is extraordinarily arrogant. It was the Libyan people who showed their powers.

As the Libyan author Hisham Matar wrote last week, “Under Gaddafi we were afraid of the state; now its weakness imperils all we have achieved. “
Suliman Ali Zway,
who reports from Libya for the Times, e-mailed me that day to say that he had never seen the situation so bad. Later, he sent me a P.S.: he had just been carjacked by armed militiamen. He had lost his car but felt lucky to have escaped with his life.

The regional dimensions of the Libya mess have not been accurately calculated by the policymakers who urged on the rebellion, but they appear to be huge.

Following the fall of Qaddafi, well-armed Tuareg militiamen from Mali who had served him for years as mercenaries fled home in their battle wagons, and soon thereafter lent their weight to secessionist aspirations in the remote Northlands. (I wrote about the situation in Mali for the magazine last month.) The Mali episode showed—not for the first time—how a few determined and well-trained men with guns can do a lot of harm in remote areas of poor countries.

Libya lacks the ability to police its borders,

It is a novel concept, but people should be free to move about. Borders should be community based policing, as any other place would be.

not to mention its armories, and Al Qaeda thrives in any vacuum of influence. The bloody hostage crisis at the oil field in southern Algeria, in January, was linked to French intervention in Mali; in April, the French Embassy in Tripoli was bombed; and in May, in Niger (another weak state community that shares a border with Libya), bombers killed nearly thirty people.

Syria is the black hole in this firmament, sucking what light is left into its civil war. The NATO allies who rained missiles on Libya have fallen into a queasy silence on the subject of Syria—just as they are absent on the ground as guarantors of the peaceful restoration of the state of Libya.

Syria stepped out of turn. Though the Campaign did show/prove what was being said about bashir there was not proof prior. The photos and such coming out of syria before the campaign were full of women and children with balloons. Syria did not appear ‘ready’ or needful of a campaign. There are no establish or vetted communication ties to Syria

the Justice Department had charged a Libyan militia leader in Benghazi, Ahmed Abu Khattala, with complicity in the attacks that killed Ambassador Stevens. Abu Khattala, (research name) who has acknowledged being at the compound that night but denies any responsibility for Stevens’s death, has openly mocked the U.S.’s attempts to hold him accountable for the murders. In Benghazi on Wednesday, Suliman Ali Zway tweeted, “I met Abukhattala twice, and I’m very familiar with the Benghazi military dynamics/environment; good luck getting any1 to arrest him.”


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