In November 2011, at the height of the optimism about the regime change in Libya, the following article appeared. In light of the Egyptian rejection of the Muslim Brotherhood, it may have been less accurate in its predictions. However, it does predict that the "Arab Spring" was not destined to be the panacea that it was presented to be.
Thursday, November 3, 2011
The Obama administration and its sycophants in the media have declared a stunning "victory" in the Middle East. The President proclaimed, “After four decades of darkness, they (the Libyan people) can walk the streets, free from a tyrant.” This victory is on par with that moment in July 2008 when the candidate Obama proclaimed, “. . . the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.” Fouad Ajami, a senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institute wrote in the Wall Street Journal, “Who, today, does not thrill to the spectacle of freedom in Tripoli.” Fox New’s Geraldo Rivera stated that “President Obama, whatever his failures are on the domestic side has proven to be one of our most efficient warrior leaders.” This is quite an accomplishment for even a Noble Peace Prize winner. However, can this apparent victory stand the test of time?
The ostensible reason for the overthrow of Qaddafi was that NATO was attempting “to prevent the killing of innocents on a horrific scale.” Obama stated that we, “. . . can take pride in the innocent lives we saved and in helping Libyans reclaim their country.” This motive does not appear to hold water. Obama had an entirely different response to the demonstrations in Iran. If a list of bloodthirsty tyrants were compiled, Qaddafi would not appear near the top. Acts of genocide have been occurring for decades with little media attention unless there were other factors involved.
Retired Gen. Barno, former commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan stated, “We rushed into this without a plan. Now we’re out in the middle, going in circles.” As plans were being made to overthrow Qaddafi, his son Khamis was attending a month long visit with meetings at NASA and the Air Force Academy. His scheduled trip to West Point on Feb 21 had to be canceled when Khamis flew back to Libya to take part in the defense of the regime. According to Andrew McCarthy, “Obama increased military aid to Qaddafi’s regime only a few weeks before the current crisis began.” We may never learn the real reason for Qaddafi’s overthrow. We can only surmise that the decision was made on short notice. There are a number of people who were relieved to learn that Qaddafi had been assassinated. Had he testified at an international tribunal some inconvenient facts might have come to light including details of the deal reached for the release of Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, the Lockerbie bomber.
Qaddafi was a corrupt despot and that was one of his virtues. His primary concern was to provide for Muimar Qaddafi. His family spent lavishly on parties where they paid performers like rapper 50 Cent, Beyonce and Cary millions of dollars. His wardrobe appeared to be inspired by Michael Jackson. Qaddafi and Mubarek were essentially secular leaders concerned with their own power and the accumulation of personal wealth. Because of these concerns, they could be easily co-opted by Western governments. If they are replaced with devout Muslims the Middle East will have an entirely different complexion that will not conform to the ideal picture that is being promoted in the press.
Prior to Qaddafi’s overthrow, he was considered by the U.S. State Department as “a critical ally in the U.S. counter terrorism efforts." In August 2009 Senators McCain, Lieberman, Graham and Collins visited Qaddafi’s headquarters in Tripoli. The main item on their agenda was to provide military aid to Qaddafi. Lieberman is reported to have said, “We never would have guessed ten years ago that we would be sitting in Tripoli, being welcomed by a son of Muammar al-Qadhfi.” This meeting took place just prior to the release of Abdel al-Megrahi, the Lockerbie bomber.
Who will replace these Middle Eastern despots? For this, we must rely on our intelligence agencies. Senator John McCain referring to the Libyan rebels stated, “They are my heroes.” President Obama has assured us that, “The people that we’ve met with have been fully vetted. Most of them are professionals, lawyers, doctors, - people who appear to be credible.” The President stated, “As Libyans draw strength from their faith – a religion rooted in peace and tolerance – let their be a rejection of violent extremism.” Yet the ranks of terrorists are filled with lawyers, doctors, and even pilots: educated middle and upper-class people who are or were credible in their own way. One rebel leader, Abdul Hakim al-Hasidi, fought for five years in Afghanistan. When he was captured the U.S. turned him over to Qaddafi.
The “experts” appear to have an optimistic view of where the “Arab Spring” is going. Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper testified before Congress that the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood was a “largely secular” organization. Former President Carter stated, “I think that the Muslim Brotherhood is not anything to be afraid of.” This optimism is reflected in the media. NBC’s Matt Lauer asked Michele Bachman, “If there are flickers, as you say, of al Qaeda among the rebels, would it not be a sign to them or showing them that the United States has compassion and we are willing to use our military might to help all people.” Bachman could only respond, “Compassion for al Qaeda?”
How dependable is U.S. intelligence? When the Director of the CIA, Leon Panetta, testified before Congress, he stated that there was a “strong likelihood” that Mubarak would step down by the end of the day. When this did not happen it was reported that Panetta had based his statement on reports from the media and not the CIA. James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, was asked by Diane Sawyer, “London, how serious is it? Any implications that it was coming here?" She raised this question because of a terrorist strike in London earlier that day. Clapper was unable to respond. In Clapper’s defense, Deputy National Security Advisor, John Brennen, stated, “I am glad that Jim Clapper is not sitting in front of the TV 24 hours a day.” Apparently, the Director of National Intelligence does not even consult the media on intelligence matters. Events like this prompted Volker Perthes, director of the German Institute for International Security Affairs in Berlin to state, “Everyone is extremely skeptical about U.S. intelligence revelations.”
President Obama has stated that “Libya is a lesson in what the international community can achieve when we stand together as one.” Senator McCain stated that it is “a lesson for Bashar al Assad,” who’s regime he was confident would “soon join Qaddafi’s on the ash heap of history.” A North Korean Foreign Ministry official also found the NATO action instructive, stating, “The Libyan crisis is teaching the international community a grave lesson.” Might one of the lessons to be learned by other despots be that it is dangerous to ally yourself with the U.S.? Perhaps the lesson would be to not abandon a weapons of mass destruction program. Or, if in danger of being overthrown, use any means necessary to maintain power.
If events in the Middle East turn sour the media’s first response will be to ignore them. However, this may eventually become impossible. As the President has said, “the journey ahead may be fraught.” But fraught with what? Islam appears to be experiencing a renaissance while Christianity and the West appear to be in retreat. The victorious Ennahda party of Tunisia is referred to the Renaissance Party. Many people were similarly optimistic about the fall of the despotic Shah of Iran. We can only hope that the optimists are right this time.