Tripoli

Military intervention in Libya failed: United Nations pulls out of Tripoli due to violence caused by Islamic radicals

Muammar Gaddafi addresses the United Nations

In 2011, NATO decided it was a good idea to intercede in Libya, and try something that western powers had done many times before in the Middle East and North Africa — remove a dictator. This is something that plays well with westerners, because they are generally of the opinion that dictatorships are bad, even when they happen to be in nations with governments that are slowly taking control of every aspect of their lives.

The problem is a cultural divide, and a failure of understanding. What cannot be comprehended is that while dictators are viewed as bad in western culture, they’re usually a necessary evil or even a good thing in regions where Islam has a strong foothold.

While it might be tempting to doubt that, consider how wonderfully things have gone in Iraq and Egypt, just to name two nations, since their respective “authoritarian albeit generally secular” leaders have been removed. Libya is facing similar issues.

Muammar Gaddafi was at best eccentric, at worst insane. Yes, he did involve himself in at least a few conspiracies to attack western powers, but when it came to dealing with Libya, he tended to keep the people from doing what they are now.

When he was in power, sectarian violence was kept under control, and if someone disagreed with Gaddafi, they were silenced. That doesn’t look anything like democracy, but democracy doesn’t look anything like what the people of that region have ever had, even in times when they have lived in relative peace.

Obama campaigns for Democrats while Libya burns: U.S. military evacuates embassy in Tripoli amid escalating violence

Three years after military intervention in Libya to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi’s regime, the State Department evacuated the U.S. embassy in Tripoli with the assistance of U.S. Marines amid the escalating violence in the North African country:

A Pentagon spokesman said in a statement that military planes and spy vehicles assisted in the operation to protect American officials from a possible attack.

All embassy personnel were relocated, including the Marine security guards who were providing security at the embassy and during the movement. The embassy staff was driven in vehicles to Tunisia,” Rear Adm. John Kirby said.

“The mission was conducted without incident, and the entire operation lasted approximately five hours.”
[…]
“Securing our facilities and ensuring the safety of our personnel are top department priorities, and we did not make this decision lightly,” State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said in a statement. “Regrettably, we had to take this step because the location of our embassy is in very close proximity to intense fighting and ongoing violence between armed Libyan factions.”

One has to wonder if this is another one of those instances in which the White House will try to “underscore” that problems in Libya are “not a broader failure of policy.” Of course, there’s not a video to blame this time around.


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