Moammar Gadhafi is dead! Long live Libya! That is the newest mantra from the Administration of President Barack Obama. Then again, Obama has been known to play fast and loose with the truth, especially when it comes to Islam.
Now that Moammar Gadhafi is gone, who will lead Libya? Nobody knows, but if America keeps rolling down the same track it has been for a decade, it could be someone or some group worse than Gadhafi.
If what happened in Iraq is any indication of American diplomacy in the region, then what has been already a decade-long war against Islamic extremists could continue indefinitely, and at a huge cost.
The Obama Administration is beating the victory drums about Iraq. What President Obama fails to admit is he ran into a classic case of: “You’re fired!” to which he yelled back, “You can’t! I quit!”
True, Obama and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki agreed to a complete U.S. military departure that will fulfill a promise important to Obama’s re-election effort. But one of the latest lies from our President is over why this is happening. It is not because he or the previous Administration magically created a peaceful and democratic Iraq. There will be no one like Gen. Douglas MacArthur accepting a sealed surrender from the enemy.
Instead, Obama has left Iraq teetering on the brink of civil war. The nation is falling more and more under the influences of its nuclear neighbor, Iran. The truth is America didn’t win a thing. Under Obama’s leadership, we got kicked out of Iraq and we left. In the end, we left as peaceably as the town drunk when he is thrown into the street by the saloon bouncer.
All of this reminds me of what Lt. Col. David Kilcullen, counterinsurgency adviser to Gen. David Petraeus, said a couple of years ago: “Just because you invade a country stupidly doesn’t mean you have to leave it stupidly.”
Stupid or not, Iraqi officials nixed a chance for victory and real reforms in Iraq. Because Maliki, facing dissent from inside Iraq and from bordering Iran, decided he would not provide legal justification to U.S. troops after Dec. 31. In other words, U.S. troops could be arrested, prosecuted and even executed by Iraqi civilians for so much as providing protective assistance to their own forces or even Iraqi civilians.
Of course, the Obama political machine quickly announced another victory parade, adding the withdrawal from Iraq to its list of Mideast accomplishments, which include the killing of Osama bin Laden and helping in the overthrow of Libyan dictator Gadhafi (more on that fiasco shortly).
The bottom line is Iraq is a bigger abyss today than it was when Saddam Hussein displayed his obsolete army on the parade grounds. The United States is going to be left with fewer than 200 Marines assigned to help protect the huge U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad. It hasn’t been decided yet whether a small number of other personnel will provide training related to the fancy new military hardware which could easily fall into the hands of a belligerent and extremist Iraq.
“The rest of our troops in Iraq will come home,” Obama bragged at the White House on the final Friday of October, adding that the troops will “be home for the holidays.”
“After nearly nine years, America’s war in Iraq will be over,” the President said.
The Washington Post has already warned that sectarian strife or other violence could break out in Iraq the moment U.S. forces have left.
So America’s war in Iraq ends, with a whimper and not a bang. Never mind that U.S. military intervention in Iraq cost the United States $1 trillion and more than 4,400 American lives and left a power vacuum at the epicenter of the world’s oil.
You won’t hear a word about that from Obama’s re-election campaign. Rather, the campaign will tell voters that Obama oversaw the conclusion of the Iraq conflict. Count on such slogans as: “He brought the boys home!”
Then again, so did Richard Nixon if you count American troops being overrun by the North Vietnamese.
It is ironic that America’s inability to create stability in Iraq, the one must-win war, simply adds one more nation to a growing list of Arab countries that are imploding.
Which brings me back to Libya. The neoconservatives began arguing last winter that America must intervene to save the “rebels.” Obama has struck out in Iraq, and Afghanistan is a quagmire. Obama must have been hoping that intervention in Libya would salvage his reputation.
Right after the murder of Gadhafi, Obama hailed the declaration of freedom in Libya, saying, “a new era of promise” is under way in the African nation. Not so fast, Mr. President.
Libya is controlled by rival tribes and competing interests, none of which have one iota of democratic tradition. The way that Gadhafi and more than 50 of his close associates were assassinated has led to speculation that Libya’s future is prefigured by the chaotic violence that befell Somalia after the overthrow of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991, which has persisted ever since.
Reuters pointed out the obvious last week: that after the killing of Gadhafi, Libya itself risks tribal violence, insurgency and chaos.
DAWN.COM hammered at this point:
Gadhafi leaves behind a country with no proven governmental institutions or political parties, little or no independent civil service and civil society, no tradition of civil rights, free speech or free media, a one-track economy almost wholly dependent on oil export revenues and a system of national administration based on the fickle favour of the “Brother Leader,” family ties, patronage and corruption.
Its army broken, its borders defiled, its sovereignty outraged, Libya’s future direction is, as of this moment, more a matter of fond hope than settled policy. Democracy in Libya is an idea. It has as yet no roots and no substantive presence. Islamism, of various shades, and tribalism are, on the other hand, vibrant forces that may now feed on the power vacuum.
That sounds an awful lot like Iraq doesn’t it?
It is yet to be determined what Iraq will evolve into. As it stands today, many parts of Iraq remain giant safe houses for terrorist organizations like al-Qaida.
Peter L. Bergen makes a stunning comment on this point in his recent New York Times bestseller, The Longest War: The Enduring Conflict Between America And Al-Qaeda.
What the Bush administration did in Iraq (invasion) is what bin Laden could not have hoped for in his wildest dreams: America invaded an oil rich Muslim nation in the Middle East, the very type of imperial adventure that bin Laden predicted was the United States long-term goal in the region… it provoked a “defensive” jihad that galvanized jihadi-minded [SIC] Muslims around the world.
There is a groundswell of instability in the Islamic world. Obama can make all the victory speeches he wants and try to placate the American people with more lies. But the Holy War that began just over a decade ago is still raging, and there is still no victory in sight.
Yours in good times and bad,
Editor, Myers Energy & Gold Report