View Full Version : A year later, Libya is still a mess

03-24-2012, 11:09 AM
One year after the U.S., Britain, and France began their war in Libya, the harmful consequences of Western intervention are readily apparent. 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 (http://www.acus.org/new_atlanticist/stabilize-libya-transatlantic-political-engagement-needed) once Moammar Gadhafi was overthrown, and the National Transitional Council (NTC) rejected the idea of an outside stabilization force, which has left Libya at serious risk of fragmentation and renewed conflict. Intervention "on the cheap" may be more politically palatable in the West because of the low cost to Western nations, but it can still be quite destructive for the countries affected by it.

Libya is now effectively ruled by the militias that ousted Gadhafi, and some militias run parts of the country as their own fiefdoms independent of any national authority. The most powerful militias in the western cities of Zintan and Misrata have refused the government's calls to disarm. These militias believe that remaining armed allows them to retain political influence in the new order that they fought to create.

Amnesty International has documented (http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/libya-out-control-militias-commit-widespread-abuses-year-uprising-2012-02-15) numerous cases of abuse and torture of detainees by local militias, and there have been many reports of reprisals against civilians living in perceived pro-Gadhafi areas. Militia rule is made possible by the weakness of the NTC, which never had real control over armed rebel forces during the war, and still does not. Plus, the council's opacity and corruption have been rapidly de-legitimizing it in the eyes of Libyans.

While elections are scheduled for June, the NTC's electoral law creates a significant obstacle to disarming militias by barring members of the Libyan military from participating in the political process. This is intended to keep the military out of politics, but its effect will be to discourage militias from giving up their weapons and integrating themselves into the military. As Geoff Porter asked in The New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/13/opinion/libyas-electoral-law-is-flawed.html): "Why would militias, whose members can vote and thus express themselves as a powerful bloc, disband so their members can join the military, which is explicitly excluded from elections?" The continued role of militias in Libyan political life represents a serious threat to Libya's political transition. There is also significant risk of renewed fighting in Libya: A survey (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/university-of-oxford-national-public-opinion-poll-of-libya-2012-02-14) of Libyan political attitudes found that 16 percent said they would resort to violence for political ends.......


What amazes me is the zero coverage this is getting in the media.

03-24-2012, 03:19 PM
So what exactly did we solve going in there? I'm still baffled.

03-25-2012, 05:48 PM

What amazes me is the zero coverage this is getting in the media.
It does? It'll only get media coverage when we have to go to war with them to get rid of the Saddam-type figure that eventually comes to power there.

04-03-2012, 08:37 PM
The Trayvon Martin case is more important nationally.
I think the public is tired of hearing about the blood shed in the middle east. The killing will go on whether there is a TV camera or reporter there anyways..

Thumbs up on the red head!