Skip to comments.The Real Dangers Of The Successful War With Libya
Posted on 11/27/2011 12:55:06 AM PST by stevelackner
There are many things that have made the bombing campaign in Libya that helped oust Moammar Gaddafi questionable at best. Among these questions are the fact that there was no congressional approval for the campaign, and more. I myself asked this question as well as other important inquiries while the bombings were taking place. But all these questions were the sorts of queries that were more relevant while the war was being waged, but once Gaddafi was at long last toppled and even violently lynched, many of the questions regarding the action have since subsided. Now that even Gaddafi's son Saif Al-Islam has been captured, there is reason to look back at this action and understand what strategic value it served, and what dangers it may have actually paved for the future.
The first issue that must be addressed is the looming possibility of an Islamist takeover of Libya. Admiral James Stavridis, Nato's Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, said in March that "we have seen flickers in the intelligence of potential al Qaeda, Hizbollah, we've seen different things" regarding the Libya rebels. In August, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said that Iran "discreetly" provided humanitarian aid to Libyan rebels before the fall of Tripoli. "The heroic Libyan nation rose up against the oppressor leaders of their own volition and proved that in the era of the awakening of nations, there is no room for tyranny and that the demands of the people must be respected," said Iranian parliament speaker Ali Larijani. Iran is hoping the Libya domino will fall towards Islamism and expand her sphere of extremist Islamic revivalist influence.
Further troubling signs are worthy of viewing with worry now that Gaddafi is in the dustbin of history. Libya's interim leader said that Sharia law will be used as the basis for new legislation. The new Libyan Constitution even declares that Islam is the Religion of the State, and the principal source of legislation is Islamic Jurisprudence (Sharia). In fact, all of this raises the larger questions about this so-called "Arab Spring" in general. Islamists are to win most votes in Tunisia's first "Arab Spring" election, yet Obama calls it "an important step forward." The Head of Libya's National Transitional Council Mustafa Abdul-Jalil says Islamic Sharia law would be the basic source of legislation, and that existing laws that contradict the teachings of Islam would be nullified. Yet Obama calls this a "a new era of promise." Is it just me, or is the war on Islamofascism over under President Obama? Have we entered the "new era" in which the rise of Islamists is to be aided and praised by the President of the United States?
The rise of Islamism in Libya, helping raise a possible Islamic extremist State in place of the regime America toppled while, as an anonymous Obama administration official put it, "leading from behind," is of course problematic. But all of the above, while worrying, is really not the most pressing issue that arises from the Libya action. The real issue is that the intervention in Libya not only served no national interest, it was in fact counterproductive in serving a useful national purpose. Let me be clear, Gaddafi was a megalomaniac tyrant and his death is not worthy of a moment of mourning. Of course, as just mentioned, I am not sure that what will replace him will be better for world security, which is what is obviously worrying about the entire "Arab Spring." But even more than that, and most importantly, Gaddafi actually abandoned his Weapons of Mass Destruction program after he saw the U.S. invade Iraq. In fact, Libya's abandonment of its own WMD program is a lesser known most positive consequence of targeting Saddam Hussein. On Dec. 19, 2003, only six days after American soldiers found Hussein in a spider hole, Gaddafi announced he would abandon Libya's WMD programs and accept international inspectors. As former Vice President Dick Cheney put it, Libyas abandonment of its WMD program was one of the great byproducts of what we did in Iraq and Afghanistan. Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice also said, I think what we did was to eliminate his weapons of mass destruction, or the most dangerous ones.
In fact, most are unaware that the CIA reportedly worked closely with Moammar Gadhafi's intelligence services in the rendition of terror suspects to Libya for interrogation. Most do not even know that in 2004 the United States airlifted out of Libya components of the nuclear weapons program that country agreed to give up. On January 27 of that year the U.S. transport plane landed in the State of Tennessee carrying some 25 metric tons of Libyan weapons program components including centrifuge parts, uranium, and sensitive documentation.
All this should demonstrate the strategic folly of intervening in Libya. The point that is really worrying is the message America has now sent to rogue regimes everywhere. That message is that if you abandon your weapons programs, if you turn toward cooperation with America and the West, you risk soon thereafter being bombed into oblivion and overthrown. In other words, this action encouraged a country like Iran to continue to defy America, the West, and get the nuclear bomb as soon as possible. Why? Because abandoning the program like Gaddafi is nothing short of assigning yourself to the easy future attack and toppling of the U.S. It is unfortunately a very perverse incentive that was starkly created by this action. In contrast, regardless of what one thought of President Bush's military action, those wars simply could not create the dangerous incentives of this boming campaign by waged by Obama. At least with Bush, at the very least his wars showed that if you mess with America you may very well have it coming. And this actually worked in the case or Gaddafi, who took the invasion of Iraq into account and in part because of that very lesson abandoned his own WMD program. Gaddafi would have not been as easy to topple had he had the WMD that he abandoned in favor of the now clearly false safety of cooperating with the West
This is the simple truth, no other anti-American dictator will make Gaddafi's mistake, which is to abandon their WMD programs or cooperate with the West, because soon enough they could be bombed and toppled by the U.S. Not only is there evidence of Iran and other Islamists backing and being part of the Libyan rebel movement, there is the perilous lesson that a regime like Iran must have learned from what Gaddafi faced. Iran, as an enemy of the United States, would be mad to abandon its nuclear program and cooperate with the West. Given the precedent of Gaddafi's topple, Iran would be crazy to abandon its quest for the world's most dangerous weapon. The greatest danger today is the nuclear armed Iranian fanatics thirsting for wiping Israel off the map and destroying the United States. Given this, the troubling incentive created is the most, and least recognized, danger of America's intervention in Libya.
If I recall correctly we were not at war with Libya and regime change nor Ghaddaffi’s death were stated goals, as a matter of fact we were specifically told they were NOT the goals.
So how do have the measure to call this not-a-war “successful”??
I always viewed the removal as Gaddafi as the goal. Of course the U.S. often said that we were just “supporting” the rebels, or protecting various parts of the country from Gaddafi with air force, but the fact is clear that removal of and toppling of that dictator waS at long last the success of the entire operation.
Better to listen to Nena, 99LuftBallons.
Because of the european provincial outlook on things people get things wrong...
It will be difficult to wipe Judea from the map (and it is small), and don't even start on destroying the US. People don't undertand the distances in the US, any more than Napoleon understood Russia.
Talk about a bite too big...
So, understand that I sit here in the heartland, unworried about the world that hates me.
It's ok. I hate them, too. Just without need to do much about it, unless I get cold and need some small european country to burn for warmth.
Revisionist history begin. This country is doomed to the academics who would reshape it in their socialist utopian fantasy.
We lazy Americans are like the proverbial frog in the pot waiting for the water to boil.
Not a success for either the US or Europe, that is for sure. One known bad actor was swept aside for an unknown, but certainly much worse “bad actor”, who will revive the nuclear program, the biological and chemical agents, and what will become a much more active network of agents and spies than anything we have yet seen from the Muslim world.
The World Caliphate is on track to assume a preeminent position in world affairs, where the Noble Islamic Gentlemen shall be accorded great respect wherever they shall roam. Of course, that may mean that practically the entire ruling class now in some sort of shaky control of the Muslim-majority lands shall have to be liquidated, to make room for the REAL leaders. For if you cannot establish firm control in your own region, how may you extend that power to elsewhere?
Elections among the Islamic world = shooting your way into the palace and running a pogrom against the Jews and other non-believers (which may include other Muslims who do not fall into full accordance with the new regime). Pretty effective way to keep the revolution pure.
The only even marginal advantage for Europe is that a close-by source of petroleum was re-established.
Europe may have been far better off purchasing petroleum from Russia. But then, Russia would have been purchasing much larger quantities from Iran, thus propping up THAT regime.
Perhaps the Swiss will perfect large-scale fusion power generation, and Europe may become almost completely energy-independent, creating petroleum from organic waste with truly cheap electricity, and powering all their transportation with mag-lev power in roadways and rail lines.
The deliberate inbreeding of these animals have gone on for centuries causing major defects. The dictatorships were a way to control the stupid easily through brute force. Now that the “arab spring”, the rat utopian vision has been implemented we now see kaos until another brutal dictatorship emerges. Good job, book worms
Consider: Libya, Egypt, and now Pakistan, former nominal "allies" -- or at least inactive side-liners in the war against civilization--now firmly aligned to the islamist axis.
'bam's grand- 'slam.