The Arab Spring fells another despotic regime as revolutionaries killed Muammar el-Qaddafi in his hometown of Sirte, Libya. But what now for Libya?
While no one knows for sure – if recent events in other Arab countries are any indication – there will be plenty of chaos.
While culling the Reuters website I came across this interesting comment:
Former MI5 Agent Annie Machon said in a report to the conflict in Libya:
“They’ve had free education, free health, they could study abroad. When they got married they got a certain amount of money. So they were rather the envy of many other citizens of African countries. Now, of course, since NATO’s humanitarian intervention the infrastructure of their country has been bombed back to the Stone Age. They will not have the same quality of life. Women probably will not have the same degree of emancipation under any new transitional government. The national wealth is probably going to be siphoned off by Western corporations. Perhaps the standard of living in Libya might have been slightly higher than it perhaps is now in America and the UK with the recession,” she said.
“What really was the UN & NATO trying to achieve?”
My sentiments exactly Ms. Machon. When the US joined France and the UK in their so-called humanitarian mission, I questioned the rationale and more importantly for the U.S. – the added expense given our other war fronts were, and continue to, suck the US Treasury dry. I still don’t understand what our participation in Libya was for, except maybe mending political fences with one nation (UK) whose Prime Minister blindly followed former President Bush into Iraq under false pretenses and of course another nation (France) who was snubbed by the former president, but one who has long ties to African colonialism.
If, however, it was for the oil as some have suggested, well that wouldn’t be quite right because Libya’s sweet crude is of no use to American consumers unless of course they traveled to Europe and rented a clean-burning diesel vehicle. And if it was for revenge over all the terrorist acts Qaddafi bestowed upon Americans, well, that wouldn’t be quite right either as he accepted responsibility and paid the fines and lawsuits against him and we in turn accepted his contrition. As a matter of fact – Qaddafi was even hopeful of, in his own words, his “brother” President Barack Obama and renewed relations.
So again – what exactly was America’s true motivation for its complicity in bringing down a sovereign nation instead of letting internal forces, or shall we say the inertia of the Arab Spring, take its natural course? Your guess is as good as mine – but I certainly hope we get reimbursed for all those Tomahawk Missiles and sorties we flew. That was a pretty big chunk of change, you know?
Now for anyone thinking that I may be a Qaddafi sympathizer – Think Again! I am not!
But here is the problem I have had with this whole operation. For one thing we were (and still are) engaged in war on two fronts and it’s cost has been great. Worse yet is the realization that the cost in human lives was for satisfying a vendetta Dubya had to exact revenge on Saddam Hussein for the attempted assassination of his father while visiting Kuwait. Secondly, Americans were sold a false bill of goods regarding weapons of mass destruction and some innuendo that Saddam Hussein had somehow been indirectly involved in the attacks of 9-1-1. Both, of course, have been proven false. Yet we continue to have our young sons and daughters coming home in boxes thanks to an insurgency that will probably NEVER leave Iraq and/or Afghanistan. And when we speak of Afghanistan and its massive corruption under Hamid Karzai, that too has probably had a direct impact on the number of American deaths as he continues to play the fence with Al-Qaeda and other terrorists. In the meanwhile Karzai has benefited mightily from all the American Aid given him. Problem is that aid is just divvied up very nicely among Karzai and his Tribal Leaders.
Let’s not kid ourselves here. Our President of Change hasn’t been much different when playing the same game of deception that George W. Bush did. I do, however, understand the desire for freedom and democracy by the Arab peoples – the only problem is that the people don’t always get what they desire. We have a propensity for looking the other way whenever another regime takes over. As we have seen – the Arab Spring has not exactly given the world much hope that the region is getting more stable. Instead, it has been more of a perfect example in “be careful what you wish for.” Especially in Egypt. Even as Libya turned into a toxic stew of discontent, I asked who these insurgents and rebels were. Well I am still wondering?
Now that the dirty deed has been done, I believe what we will see in the New Libya is exactly what the former MI-5 Agent alluded to. Except, those Western Corporations will no doubt be of French and British interests since they were the ones who were pushing for immediate intervention. I still don’t like the fact that we joined in, and in effect, softened-up the target for our allies. My biggest fear is that the New Libya will fall into a protracted civil war after this and that history won’t be very kind to America when everything is written. It seems we have a habit of backing the wrong horse and this could very well be another one of those times.
As repulsive as it may seem to us, dictators and tyrants are a way of life in the Arab World. Somehow it even works fairly well, in spite of it all. I mean Egypt for all intents and purposes was a dictatorship in spite of its official form of government. But, hey, it seems to work for them if there is an illusion of moderation. Thus, thinking that we can bring our form of democracy to the Middle East or Northern Africa is more an illusion than a reality. I am sorry to say but the Arab World will always be akin to the lyrics penned by the Who in “We Won’t Get Fooled Again,” you know – “Come meet the new boss, same as the old boss?”
I don’t know about you but I don’t think Libya will be a better place.