A State Called Libya

Over at The Week, Dr. Daniel Larison brings up the situation of a state called Libya.  One year ago the West led a bombing campaign that ousted the brutal dictator Moammar Ghaddafi.  A problem or two arose though:

The internal disorder and regional instability that the West’s assault created were foreseen by many critics. And yet, Western governments made no meaningful efforts to prepare for them. No one planned to stabilize Libya once Moammar Gadhafi was overthrown, and the National Transitional Council (NTC) rejected the idea of an outside stabilization force […]

The NTC Larison speaks of is, of course, the entity that the West has blessed with steering the Libyan state’s course to democratic paradise.  Think here of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia.  It gets worse too: Continue reading

Rebellion in Homs

As we speak, the brutal dictatorship of Bashar al-Assad is slaughtering his people.  Assad is the son of one of the most notorious dictators of the modern Middle East, Hafez al-Assad, and, like his father, is a member of the socialist Ba’ath Party.  It worth mentioning that Saddam Hussein’s ruling party was also a socialist Ba’ath Party, though I don’t know how closely connected the Iraqi and Syrian parties were.  I just know both parties are Arab nationalist and socialist in nature.

One of our co-bloggers, Jacques Delacroix, has been an outspoken proponent of bombing the Assad regime in the name of democracy lately, and he has not shied away from proclaiming the Iraq War a success, or condemning libertarians (you read that right) to hypocrisy for U.S. refusal to bomb Rwanda during the 1990’s.  He is also a proud supporter of the military occupation of the Balkans by NATO troops and the subsequent partition of Serbia into a plethora of different narco-states, and has not hesitated to heap praise upon President Obama for the recent bombing campaign that led to the removal of Muammar Ghaddafi from power in Libya.

I have addressed Professor Delacroix’s arguments for Libyan intervention here (there is a long dialogue between he and I in the ‘comments’ section).  I have addressed his arguments for bombing Rwanda and occupying the Balkans here (again, there is another long dialogue in the ‘comments’ section).  I have addressed his claims of Iraqi democracy here (it’s in the middle of the dialogue) and recent events in Iraq have, of course, borne out my argument.

I would like to draw attention now to his most recent idea for helping out the rebellion in Syria, and specifically in the city of Homs, close to where Bashar’s father murdered 20,000 in 1982 in the city of Hamah.  This is not embarrass Delacroix or to start a fight, but rather to initiate a dialogue and see where it takes us.  I had to ask him what his plans for Syria would be, since interventionists are infamous for being beholden to their hearts rather than their heads.  From his other blog: Continue reading

Notes From Libya

Daniel Larison and Jason Sorens have alerted me to the most recent updates on Libya’s situation.  In case you are wondering, it is not good.  In fact, things look a lot worse than they did under Ghaddafi.  From the BBC:

UN human rights chief Navi Pillay meanwhile raised concerns about detainees being held by revolutionary forces, saying there were some 8,500 prisoners in about 60 centres.

“The majority of detainees are accused of being Gaddafi loyalists and include a large number of sub-saharan, African nationals,” she said.

“The lack of oversight by the central authority creates an environment conducive to torture and ill treatment.”

No good can come from this.  Libya is an artificial state created by European colonialists, and the Libyan factions that managed to dupe the West into doing their dirty work for them will now be competing for the power structure left by the Ghaddafi regime.

Indeed, not to brag or boast or anything, but in a dialogue with co-blogger Jacques Delacroix I correctly predicted what would happen in post-Ghaddafi Libya:

I still think we’ll see bloodbaths because most naive factions see centralized power as THE way to achieve stability. The not-so-naive factions also see centralized power as an attractive option. As long as everyone is competing for power at the center of these states, we’ll continue to see bloodshed and instability. I have yet to see anything, unfortunately, to suggest otherwise. The mass graves may stop for a time, but without a game plan that involves smaller states and more trade/less aid, they’ll be back. No matter how many times we bomb a dictator from his palace.

Instead of trying to rebuild the Libyan state, as the UN human rights chief suggests (why am I not surprised?), the West should try to work with Russia and China and other North African polities to try and carve Libya up into smaller states that are loosely affiliated politically but tightly connected economically.

Now, being right all the time is one thing, but getting people to think more clearly is quite another.