• Libya: A Perfect Storm of Interventionist Failure

    February 17, 2015

    Tags: , ,
    Posted in: Embassy/State, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen

    Still image from video shows men purported to be Egyptian Christians held captive by the Islamic State kneeling in front of armed men along a beach said to be near Tripoli

    Libya is the perfect storm example of the failure of U.S. interventionist policy in the Middle East.

    The Obama-Clinton Model

    In 2011, Libya was to be the centerpiece of Middle East Intervention 2.0, the Obama-Clinton version.

    Unlike the Bush model, that of Texas-sized land armies, multi-year campaigns and expensive reconstruction efforts, the Obama-Clinton version would use American air power above, special forces and CIA on the ground, and coordinate local “freedom fighters” to overthrow the evil dictator/terrorist/super-villain of the moment. “We Came, We Saw, He Died,” cackled then-Secretary of State Clinton as Libyan leader Moamar Quaddafi was sodomized by rebels on TV.

    The idea was that the U.S. would dip in, unleash hell, and dip out, leaving it to the local folks to create a new government from scratch. So how’d that strategy work out in Libya?

    Benghazi Only A Sign

    Benghazi was only a sign of the chaos to come.

    Here’s the state of Libya today. Several Islamist groups vying for control in Libya have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State and carried out barbaric executions, as in Iraq and Syria. The growth and radicalization of Islamist groups raise the possibility that large parts of Libya could become a satellite of the Islamic State where one never previously existed.

    Libya’s official government, led by Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni, has only tenuous authority, having been run out of Tripoli last summer amid fighting between rival militias formed during the 2011 civil war.

    The shell government Thinni leads, pathetically still recognized by the international community, operates out of the eastern city of Bayda. The Libya Dawn movement, a coalition of militias and political factions, has wrested control of the capital and established a rival government.

    Fighters who identify themselves as part of the Islamic State have killed journalists and many other civilians. They took credit for the November 13 bombings targeting the Egyptian and United Arab Emirates embassies in Tripoli. Last month, fighters linked to the Islamic State kidnapped Egyptian Coptic Christians and bombed the Corinthia Hotel in the capital, killing ten people.

    And according to the New York Times, the chaos in Libya has paralyzed the economy. The one industry that is booming is human smuggling. Taking advantage of the lawlessness, smugglers who use Libya as a way station in moving impoverished sub-Saharan Africans and Syrian refugees to Europe have become increasingly brazen and reckless in their tactics, sending hundreds to their deaths.

    Egypt Bombs Libya after 21 Beheaded

    In what is only the latest evidence of the failure of the 2011 intervention, Egyptian jets bombed Islamic State targets in Libya recently, a day after the group there released a video showing the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians. That forced Cairo directly into the conflict across its border. While Cairo is believed to have provided clandestine support to some former-Libyan general fighting the rogue government in Tripoli with his own militia, the mass killings pushed Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi into open action.

    The Obama-Clinton Model

    While Libya is the perfect storm example of what happens when the U.S. clumsily intervenes in a Middle Eastern country, it is certainly not the only example. The evacuation of the American embassy in Yemen is the marker for America’s policy failure there. The U.S. is again at war in Iraq, trying the new interventionist model as a recipe to rescue the old one. That conflict alone threatens to inflame the entire region, pulling in Jordan, Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and others.

    Want to see the future? Look to the recent past. Look at Libya.

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  • Recent Comments

    • Rich Bauer said...


      Failure or just part of the plan for creating endless chaos to continue funding for the endless war against terror?

      02/17/15 1:37 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      02/17/15 1:50 PM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...


      My thought exactly, Rich.

      On the other hand, I’d submit Libya is living proof the Law of Unintended Consequences is alive and well.

      02/17/15 1:51 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      Forget about Libya. Think WW3. Imagine if China sabotaged US utilities and other critical networks, we would declare war in a nanosecond.

      02/17/15 1:56 PM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...


      Rich Bauer said…

      “America’s Global War of Terror:”

      Indeed. This story is also living proof that the USG has now become the worlds foremost Cyber terrorist. Meanwhile, the DOJ prosecutes people like Barrett Brown and Aaron Swartz for far less than our own government does.

      One thing I know for sure..if anyone believes this ‘Equation group’ is not the NSA..I’ve got a Bridge for sale in Brooklyn.

      02/17/15 2:29 PM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...


      “Imagine if China sabotaged US utilities and other critical networks, we would declare war in a nanosecond.”

      It’s only a matter of time.

      02/17/15 2:33 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      If Hillary can spin to her advantage the debacle of the Libyan “humanitarian” intervention and subsequent failure at proper protection of Stevens then paranoid sadism is America’s guiding ethos. Once the early Christians decoupled from Rome it took many centuries to find their “groove”.

      As a current non Roman I hope it won’t take as long to forge a viable alternative to empire but Hope seems a naive outlook particularly now that it has been paired with the word Change.

      02/17/15 3:14 PM | Comment Link

    • chuck nasmith said...


      Imagine… Some trying to set up “The United States of Africa” and the Empire getting upset! Wage Peace and Justice. Keep on…

      02/17/15 4:42 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      “Days, not weeks..” I remember Obama’s haughty assurance to the doubters about the wisdom of such a confident “kinetic operation”. It took many months and tens of hundreds of NATO kill missions so it was no wonder Killary cackled in relief after Gaddafi had been killed. My guess is that NATO pilots ended up killing more Libyans than what the USA said Gaddafi had threatened to kill in tamping down what was probably a USA funded insurrection in Benghazi.

      02/17/15 9:07 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      Wikipedia entry: After 7 months and 26,000 NATO bombing runs the effort ended in a Decisive NATO Victory.

      Sort of has that Mission Accomplished ring to it doesn’t it.

      02/17/15 9:25 PM | Comment Link

    • STREETS OF GOLD » Libya: A Perfect Storm of Interventionist Failure said...


      […] with permission from We Meant Well. Source: Ron Paul […]

      02/18/15 8:03 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      Hilarious Clinton should be serving hard time for being a threat to our national security:


      02/18/15 3:28 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      Intercept: “One can debate whether all of this is done by design or by “accident”: if you realize that U.S. actions create further pretexts for war, then those who do this for a living must realize it, too (their own studies say this); and how many times does something have to happen before “accident” is no longer a viable explanation (as in: oops, our bombing policies keep killing large numbers of civilians, but we keep doing it anyway, and keep claiming it’s all just a terrible “accident”)? But whatever else is true about motive, there is no question that U.S. militarism constantly strengthens exactly that which it is pitched as trying to prevent, and ensures that the U.S. government never loses its supply of reasons to continue its endless war.”

      02/18/15 3:29 PM | Comment Link

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