The Barbary Wars (Part Two)

It looks like there is another victory for Coalition Forces in the Middle-East.

…This time it’s in Libya. It’s uncertain whether or not rebels have come out on top. But since every picture of the conflict I’ve seen has been of rebel fighters, I’ll just assume their winning. It’s also uncertain whether or not this is actually a good thing.

Both factions are now accused of war crimes. Images of Gaddafi supporters, found with hands bound, shot execution style are now starting stir a few questions in my head. Why are we supporting the rebels? If you’re a Libyan history scholar (as I now am, ever since I Googled Libya), you’ll already know that practically every power that has controlled the region has done so through the use of force. Greeks, Romans, Caliphates, the Ottomans, and Italians all have taken Libya for their own, through military action. It wasn’t until after WWII that a King was appointed for an Independent Libya by the U.N. – who was then ousted by a young Gaddafi.

Coup d’etat is just the Libyan equivalent of election; a little less frequent, and maybe more exciting. But with all of the protests across the Middle-East chanting Democracy, I don’t understand what’s so great about Libya. Aren’t Iran and Syria a little more on our “Hated” list? And wouldn’t it be slightly more strategic to oust the regimes their? Or are we just trying to hunt down smaller prey?

David Harsanyi has a similar view:

Is Libya more vital to our national interest than Iran or North Korea or the Kurds of Turkey? After recent experiences with conflict and social engineering, how can anyone believe we can effectively institute democracy in the Middle East?

The Coalition involvement is said to be a humanitarian mission. Which is fine, and I don’t mind the humanitarian missiles, but it’s more than just that. It’s the U.S. -or rather Obama- doing the foreign policy dance. And it’s really starting to look sloppy at this point. Especially since Western relations with the Gaddafi regime were begining to improve.

Gaddafi:

  • disposed of his “weapons of mass destruction,”
  • payed €3 billion in compensation to victims of terrorist acts (which his regime had been partially responsible for),
  • released political prisoners,
  • had his country taken off the U.S. list of states sponsoring terrorism,
  • and had even been selected to serve as Chairman of the African Union for a  year.

 On the other side of the spectrum, he:

  • has supported countless terrorists, genocide, assassinations,
  • has placed bounties on the heads of Libyans who oppose him,
  • has essentially been a thorn in Democracy’s side since day one 
  • and in light of recent events, hides his military behind civilian facilities.

But I suppose if France, Brittain, and Canada are going to bomb Gaddafi, then oh well – We may as well send in some F-15’s and CIA agents. At least gas prices seemed to have decreased.

 Once stability in Libya has been restored, are we really going to be able to trust the rebels?Our track record for supporting rebel forces isn’t so hot (*cough* Taliban *cough cough*).

And even if we can trust the new Libyan government, will we be able to look back and say “wow, that was definitely worth it, even though were facing a financial crisis and all” ? Time will only tell.

In the meantime, we can cross our fingers and watch our tax dollars at work on CNN.

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