West Blind to Lessons of Libya
• Overthrow of Qadaffi has made Libya a dangerous terrorist state
By Richard Walker
The Obama White House and its allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) want us all to take our eyes off the chaos in Libya just in case it reminds us of the mess their Middle East policies have created.
Gone from Libya are the representatives of the big oil giants, who were assured the removal of Muammar Qadaffi would give them control of Libya’s oil. The reality now is that Libya produces little oil. The country is divided into warring fiefdoms, many of them run by heavily armed militias who hate the West. It has a central government with little to no power. In essence, Libya, since NATO intervention in 2011, has become a miserable state that exports terrorism instead of oil.
When NATO failed to secure the late Colonel Muammar Qadaffi’s weapons, they fell into the hands of militias, who once were the allies of the West. Many of those weapons were seized by radical fighters, who have been exporting them to other conflicts in places like Mali and Syria. In effect, the brutal murder of Qadaffi by Western forces, hailed by President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton as a great achievement, has proved to be a disaster directly threatening the security of Europe and the United States.
It is not known how many different types of weapons Qadaffi once possessed, but it is certain his arsenal included shoulder-fired missiles, some of which have found their way to Syria and possibly Europe. Those missiles could bring down airliners.
No one should consider this report to be a biased analysis of the Libyan debacle.
In May this year, The Jerusalem Post published a savage indictment of the West’s Libyan policy delivered by Professor Yehudit Ronen of the political science department at Bar-Ilan University. She said Libya had been transformed into a radical Islamist terror center, which had destabilized other North African countries.
Radicalism and weapons have been flowing across Libya “thanks to Western intervention in 2011,” she said when speaking at a conference in Tel Aviv.
Ms. Ronen also accused the West of having gone into Libya, ignorant of the situation and the allegiances of the anti-Qadaffi rebels it supported. That was what critics said about George W. Bush and Dick Cheney after they invaded Iraq without understanding the political, social and religious complexities of the country. It is what opponents of an attack on Syria are saying today.
A recent report in London’s The Independent newspaper accused the international community of ignoring the deteriorating situation in places like Benghazi, Libya and the foreign media of paying “little attention to the near collapse of the central government.”
Most foreign diplomats have now left Libya because of attacks on embassies and diplomatic convoys. When representatives of the International Criminal Court tried to visit the late Libyan ruler’s son, Seif Qadaffi, they were seized by the militia holding him and only released after international pressure.
No wonder Obama has wanted us to keep eyes off Libya while he has been planning another war.