Monday, July 28, 2014

Another Western foreign powers SNAFU emerging in Libya.

According to the New York Times:

"American officials said the evacuation [of the U.S. embassy, in Libya, under protective  American air-cover] was a temporary measure after fighting drew too close to the embassy. But, coming so soon after the withdrawal of other diplomatic missions, including the United Nations, the moment appeared to signal a defeat — for Libyans who had convinced themselves that the country would band together to save the revolution, and for the country’s Western allies, who sometimes acted as if Libya’s stability would take care of itself. ...
Three years ago, the United States and its NATO allies used air power to propel the Libyan rebels to a sweeping victory over Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, bombing government troops so that rebels could advance on cities, and even the colonel himself, when he tried to flee.
But after the revolt, as Libya’s government struggled and violence spread, the Obama administration and its allies failed in their efforts to help Libyans achieve either democracy or security. Now, with diplomats escaping and neighborhoods becoming battlefields, Libyans have been left to wonder whether there is anyone left to broker the endless fights.
The country is coming undone."

Didn't anyone in the U.S. or NATO learn anything from Vietnam Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, ISIS, etc., etc. etc., that a Western power or powers cannot just intervene and then stable democracies will just somehow magically appear.  The promise of "Arab Spring" has largely disappeared and chaos and death haunt much of the Middle East.  I'm not saying that anyone can "fix" any of these national and regional problems, I'm just saying at least, let's try not to do things which make things worse.  Yes, Qadaffi was a brutal dictator who squelched any attempts at bureaucracy, but at least he kept the chaos at a minimum.  The same can be said for Assad in Syria and Hussein in Iraq. (Afghanistan has always been, and will always be, no matter who is in charge, a basket case).  Idealists and ideologues often live in a dream world.  Unfortunately, for two many leaders and Western nations, when you have a big hammer, every problem looks like a nail.  Who were the idiots who gave Obama the Nobel Peace Prize even before he took office?  Yes, Bush's invasion of Iraq was inexcusable, and Obama seems to suffer from the same "affliction of the powerful."  We need to adopt more of the libertarian skepticism about military intervention. Sometimes it is necessary, but someone has to make sure the situation doesn't become worse for the people the government says it is trying to help.  Although he still has two more years to go, right now, I give him an "F" on foreign policy (e.g. threatening to use missiles against Syria and then backing down).  Like I said, many of the problems are unfixable, but at least let's not make things worse.


  1. Ignorance of history. Arrogance. Hubris. Absence of care about others' viewpoints. Lack of concern about cultural differences.

    Enough. At some point I get an attack of the splutters.