We’re back in Libya, with US warplanes bombing targets in the city of Sirte, on a mission that, according to the Pentagon, has ‘no endpoint at this particular moment.’ And that statement sums up perfectly theSisyphean task that presented itself to US policymakers when the Terrible Triumvirate – Hillary Clinton, national security honchette Susan Rice, and UN ambassadress Samantha Power – prevailed on President Obama to overthrow the regime of Libyan despot Moammar Ghaddafi.
Take a look at what we’re getting ourselves into: with no less than three governments, lawless Libya is a perfect example of Ronald Reagan’s famous dictum that ‘government is the problem, not the solution.’ Yes, that’s right, the former domain of Ghaddafi has three rival ‘governments.’ Go ahead and count ‘em:
The General National Congress (GNC), headquartered in Tripoli, is controlled by Islamist militias and backed by Turkey, Qatar, and Sudan. The Council of Deputies, located in Tobruk, is basically the instrument of Gen. Khalifa Hiftar, a known CIA asset who used to live a few miles from the Agency’s headquarters. The UN-appointed ‘government of national unity,’ which was never elected by anyone and had to be shipped into the country by boat because the Tripoli authorities wouldn’t let their plane land. While the ostensible reason for the US air strikes is the elimination of ISIS from the country, there is no escaping the ‘nation-building’ aspect of Washington’s mission. For the logic of the mission means ISIS must be replaced with something, and that something is bound to be the UN-approved ‘government.’ Yet this is likely to provoke further conflict, as the Islamists in Tripoli and the followers of Gen. Hiftar in the east are not likely to be pushed aside so easily.
This post was published at Lew Rockwell on August 6, 2016.