Thursday, October 20, 2011


The miserable end of the Libyan leader raises many questions. Some are circumstantial and frankly sordid. Others are far-reaching.

Let us consider the latter. The roles which the rebels, NATO and the USA played in this outcome will become clear in the near future. This nexus had a script, a scenarist and was ”delocalized“ to a number of executants. I imagine that the USA would still prefer to be seen in the background, rather than to be considered as the chief-executant (and follow the oil?) The Libyans do not forget that the West too often looked elsewhere when the dictator ran amok. The new ruling National Transitional Council is geographically split, made up of competing tribes.

It is difficult to foresee how all those factions will cooperate in a state which was left for 40 years unstructured. The West shouldn’t get involved in what might very well become an internal warzone. Arabs are susceptible. Their despise for the former leader might very well change course if they perceive the change in Libya as a repeat of Iraq. Gadhafi gone, we should leave Libya to the Libyans.

It will be interesting to see how the events might affect situations as those which prevail in Syria, Yemen or other failed or rogue states. Likewise, the formation of a duumvirate USA/Saudi Arabia (which exists de facto) might be more assertive in the future. Is there an Obama doctrine in the making? Is the drone war the war of the future, combining several categories of forces and resting upon a distribution of tasks, responsibilities and calibrated engagement?

Libya does not warrant a lasting military involvement. The political puzzle is too uncertain to arrive at conclusions. The West should not co-opt the remains of this long-fought creepy conflict. The UN resolution has been stretched to the limit and it has to be hoped that some rule of law might replace the rule of the jungle. I am afraid that the death of Moammar Gadhafi is not the end of a curse, which has scarred the minds and hearts of too many, who will ask for vengeance but also for revenge. We were right to intervene with a “humanitarian” agenda. We will be well advised to stay clear from getting involved in cleaning up the political mess – but pay attention to the pile of lethal weapons - which are left.

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