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The Afterparty Rages On
Egypt, UAE Join Libyan Afterparty

Things took a sharp turn for the worse in Libya when the Tripoli airport fell to Islamic militants on August 24. Divided along geographic and sectarian lines, the country looks increasingly like a failed state. Egypt, which is concerned about the rise of militant Islamists so close to home, has allegedly conducted airstrikes against militia positions in Tripoli. The West, in turn, has spoken out against “outside interference” in Libya, the Wall Street Journal reports:

In a joint statement, the U.S., France, Germany, Italy and the U.K. called on all parties to accept a cease-fire and engage “constructively” in the democratic process, “abstaining from confrontational initiatives that risk undermining it.”

The statement by the U.S. and its allies said they “encourage the international community to support Libya’s elected institutions,” and that they believe “outside interference in Libya exacerbates current divisions and undermines Libya’s democratic transition.”

U.S. officials speaking off the record on August 25 said that those airstrikes were part of a joint campaign waged by Egypt and the UAE against Islamic extremists in Libya. They were not pleased, adding that, “We don’t see this as constructive at all.”

Since the beginning of the current crises in the Middle East, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE have been attacking terror groups, standing beside Israel against Hamas, and confronting Iran. Unlovely though these allies may sometimes be, they are embracing a war on extremism that the U.S. has been pushing hard for a decade. Yet the Obama Administration has been giving them the cold shoulder, betting instead on ideas that look increasingly tenuous: a grand bargain with Iran, pressuring Israel to achieve peace with Hamas, and looking to mediations and the UN to repair Libya, even as it collapses into civil war.

The disintegration of Libya comes against the broader background of an arms-and-terror corridor that has opened up in North Africa, threatening to engulf Tunisia and pulling France deeper into Mali and other neighboring countries. There are many problems demanding U.S. attention right now, but the one created after our ill-conceived involvement in the fall of Qaddafi is dangerous and getting worse.

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  • Arkeygeezer

    Its good to see these countries trying to clean up their own neighborhood. They are putting all the military equipment we gave them to good use on their own initiative. The U.S. should stay out of it and let the Arab countries set up their own political systems to achieve peace in the middle east.

    Preserving the status quo will only increase the conflict.

  • ShadrachSmith

    A libertarian shot at world peace?
    Elect a pro energy government
    Become energy independent
    Let the world sort out its own problems for a generation or two
    Wait for the invitations to moderate disputes.

    Except for the energy development part, Obama isn’t doing that bad by the isolationist theories. He can’t just walk away from America’s commitments, but he certainly can bungle and dilettante a fair way toward making them meaningless. For this theory, Rand Paul is the ideal candidate.

    • FriendlyGoat

      Yep, Rand is the guy. Not for any of your theory—-but so we elect a Democrat again.

  • gabrielsyme

    Divided along geographic and sectarian lines, the country looks increasingly like a failed state.

    Of course, Libya’s internal divisions are nothing close to those of Syria, yet TAI continues to imagine that a similar support for Syrian rebels was the right course of action. This despite the fact that the circumstances in Syria were the very worst for a successful support of the supposedly moderate rebels.

    The tacit and limited support given to Syria’s rebels was quite bad enough, given the hundreds of thousands dead, and millions of refugees created by the rebellion. Instead, the US should have used its diplomatic influence and financial tools to halt monetary and logistical support flowing to the largely Islamist rebels from Turkey, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, among other sources.

  • Duperray

    What are West countries doing? Keeping cool, no hard stance.. Exactly what is needed to reinforce Islamic determination..

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