19 February 2015

Today's Must Read

Ted Rall's essay Obama Destroyed Libya. (alternate link here, the first link is twitchy)

He makes a number of points, that Libya under Gaddafi was generally prosperous, at least by the standards of Africa and the Arab world, albeit with a pretty horrific human rights record, and now it is a basket case with a growing lawlessness and it has become a locus for terrorist activity.

I think that the most important part of his essay though, is his conclusion that Barack Obama did not learn the lesson that he should have from this fiasco:
To Obama's credit, he admits that he screwed up in Libya. Unfortunately, he drew the wrong lesson. In 2014, he told an interviewer that a large ground invasion force might have helped Libya's post-Gaddafi government succeed. Because that worked so well in Iraq and Afghanistan. But if he really believes that, why doesn't he order in the troops?

Obama's real mistake was to depose a secular socialist autocrat and allow him to be replaced by a bunch of crazy religious fundamentalist militias whose factionalism ensured they'd never be able to govern.

Bush committed this error in Iraq. Obama made it in Libya. And now he's doing it again in Syria.
Obama's already destroyed one country with a "stupid war", and now he's trying for a sequel in Syria.

The foreign policy consensus as regards the Arab world is a toxic mixture of hubris, which, when juxtaposed with the incomprehensible need to appease the various Gulf monarchs (UAE in Libya, Saudi Arabia with Syria) has produced nothing but failure and insecurity.

This all looks so much like Athens' disastrous Sicilian Expedition during the Peloponnesian War.

H/T DC at the Stellar Parthenon BBS.


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