Libya after Gaddafi: a violent, fragmented land

Moammar Gaddafi, the strong man who ruled Libya from 1969 until 2011, was a force for stability.  The post facto proof of this statement is in the present reality in Libya.  The country is being fought over by rival paramilitary militias and is fragmented/fractured along tribal lines.  In such chaos, ought we be surprised that the so-called Islamic State has taken over some Libyan territory, is actively recruiting killers, and is committing terrible atrocities?


In countries such as Libya, Iraq, and Afghanistan (a hopeless case, sorry to say), the sad fact is that there is a need for a strong man or strong ruling clique to keep the country together and stable.  If a serious commitment to the idea of a nation is lacking in large segments of the adult population, then hopes and expectations for a lasting and stable democracy are quite unrealistic and vain. As Mark Levin is wont to say, (paraphrasing now): without a civil society democracy cannot work.  These countries need to first work to build a civil society and unless and until they succeed in building such a civil society, hopes for democracy, real democracy that can survive, are unrealistic.  As well, reason has to triumph over passion and emotions for a civil society to be achieved.

What were Europeans and the US thinking when they intervened in the anti-Gaddafi rebellion in 2011?  Gaddafi’s military was marching on Benghazi to crush the uprising when the French and others intervened with military jets to stop Gaddafi’s forces.  The official line given us was about concern for civilians in Benghazi and the West could not allow Gaddafi to kill his own people or some such rubbish.  But, why intervene militarily in Libya and not in other African (and Asian) nations when the same scenario of a rebellion or civil war broke out and the existing authoritarian or even despotic government used lethal force against its citizens?!  (A not infrequent occurrence in sub Saharan Africa in the past decade or more.)  Was it about oil and natural gas?  Was it part of a plan to grab Gaddafi’s gold?

The US reacted to the so-called Arab Spring in early 2011 by encouraging the mobs in the streets (in Tunisia, Libya and in Egypt).  This need not be so surprising to us.  President Obama, the “community organizer”, likes radical change, likes mobs in the street.  (Yet, not all the individuals in the streets of Tunis, Tripoli, and Cairo were for democracy.  Many had a different agenda, a non-democratic one.)  Obama does not like the status quo, especially when it gets in the way of radical change.  As well, Obama’s then Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, is a vainglorious woman who likes power and also likes radical change.  (There are some that assert that the Islamic State is a creation of the US CIA, and there may be some truth in that assertion.  Perhaps the US helped to create a Frankenstein monster that has now turned on its master.)

In Egypt, thankfully, General (now President) el-Sisi and the Egyptian Army ousted Mohammed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood after they had been in power for a year and had shown the Egyptian people the hell into which they were taking the country.  Hosni Mubarak had his faults and did not do enough to curb increasing Muslim violence directed against the Coptic Christian minority.  But, after Mubarak was deposed by mobs in the street in early 2011, the situation became much worse in Egypt.  The similarity of Muslim fanatics and communists comes to my mind.  Before their workers’ paradise or religious caliphate can be realized, millions of innocent people need be killed and all surviving peoples must lose their freedoms.  Human life means nothing to them.

In closing, it is clear to any objective and rational observer that Libya is now a danger to its neighbors in North Africa and possibly to Europe.  This need not have been so!  Without foreign intervention, Gaddafi’s forces likely would have prevailed in Libya’s internal insurrection.  Gaddafi was no saint.  But, Libya under Gaddafi was preferrable to the current Libya in 2015.

copyright 2015 –

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