In the Arena

You Remember Libya

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While Washington was dealing with the absolutely crucial debt ceiling waste of time, the world has remained in business…or, perhaps, in chaos. Libya, for example. No sooner did the primary western countries, including the U.S., recognize the Libyan rebel “government,” than did that government start fracturing. A military leader was killed because he was thought to be a Gaddafi double-agent. And today, we have Gaddafi’s formerly westernized son, proposing an alliance between the regime and the Islamist rebel faction. This is an obvious and rather pathetic attempt to get the West to say, “Hey, no, don’t do that, we’d rather have your family than the Islamists,” but…

it’s also a reminder of how foolish it was for the US to go into Libya in the first place. To be sure, our profile there has been low. No troops on the ground, few planes in the sky, mostly logistical backing for our fearsome European allies. But it is a mess that could metastasize. And as I argued back when this started, it is a diversion from the major issue in the Middle East, which is the fate of Egypt (with the massacres in Syria and the increasing possibility of sectarian war between Sunnis and Shi’ites running a close second).