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National Security

Fundamental Conflagration in Libya

As we warned, Obama's support of the so-called Arab Spring yields dire consequences.

Aug. 4, 2014

As we warned in early 2011 while analyzing U.S. military intervention in Libya’s “civil war,” the Obama administration’s foolish military and political support of the so-called Arab Spring would yield dire consequences down the road. Well, down the road is here and yes, so are the dire consequences.

Our prediction wasn’t rocket surgery. On the contrary, the Left’s strategy was obvious: Foment unrest, covertly stoke and fund that unrest, withdraw support from governments previously regarded as friends of the U.S., then sit back and watch as democracy magically takes over the world. Sadly, reality invariably destroys leftist utopian visions, hence our ability to make seemingly uncanny predictions using leftist-worldview templates.

For instance, in early 2011, the Left claimed the Arab Spring’s initiatives would spread in rapidly expanding waves of democracy and peace over North Africa and the Middle East. Thus, immediately we knew: a) democracy, in any recognizable form, was a dead letter; and b) the words “peace” and “Arab Spring” are antonyms. One of the Left’s predictions, however, did prove all too true: The Arab Spring indeed rapidly expanded – in waves of pandemic, virulent revolution.

Ostensibly a movement of democratic-oriented “spontaneity,” in reality the Arab Spring was the perfect storm of civil unrest coupled with leftist ideology, the resultant of which lit the entire region on fire. That fire is still raging out of control. The U.S. needed a foreign policy that both protected vital U.S. national interests and promoted peace and stability in the region. We got neither. The actual results of U.S. foreign policy under the Obama administration can be seen in the aftermath of Libya’s implosion.

Recall that Libya was severely spanked by the U.S. for sponsoring the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over the skies of Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988 and it later saw the writing on the wall for terrorist organizations that pose a clear and present danger to the U.S. As a result, then-president Moammar Gadhafi made a renewed effort to keep his country out of the wake of 9/11. Libya renounced all state support for terrorism and vowed to remain peaceful. Gadhafi stood by that commitment until the fall of his regime in October 2011. Thus, while still not a friend of the U.S., Libya was no longer an enemy or a threat. From a vital-U.S.-national-interest standpoint, then, the U.S. had nothing to gain from “spreading democracy” in Libya.

Unfortunately, the true vital national interests of the U.S. were at odds with the thinking of the Obama administration. We described that thinking in detail, the net result of which was unilateral U.S. executive action against Libya under a coalition veneer derived from UN support – but without either authorization for, or support from, our own Congress. Weakened by the two-pronged attack of the Arab Spring and U.S. military intervention, Libya fell. Gadhafi was brutally murdered. And Libya’s new government existed – until now, at least – in an embattled interim state, at best. Last week, that interim state totally collapsed. What remains are the ashes of what had once been a largely peaceful country since 9/11.

Of course, the usual suspects appeared as talking heads from the State Department to “clarify” the U.S. position on Libya. Spokeswoman Jen Psaki, for example, asserted that the U.S. is “committed to the future of Libya,” and that “democratic transitions” are “never easy and require the long view before assessments can be made.” Thanks, Jen – that clears things up a lot. Of course, “the long view” will actually be indefinitely long, given current U.S. foreign policy. Never mind also that “democracy” isn’t the key to U.S. vital national interests: peace, stability and Rule of Law are. Unfortunately, we must now witness the Left’s version of “democracy” played out not only in the streets of Libya, but also spanning the entire Middle East region, many parts of which have been repeatedly stained in the blood, sweat and tears of American service men and women.

During his 2008 campaign for president, Obama promised “fundamental transformation.” Years later, with the diminution in U.S. international stature, military might and economic power wrought by six years of leftist abuse, North Africa and the Middle East now understand what his phrase really means: fundamental conflagration.

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