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The Afterparty Continues
Libya to “Open the Floodgates” to Europe

The refugee flow from Libya to Italy could double this year, and Libya’s shambolic “government” says it lacks money to deal with the issue. The Times of London reports:

Libya will “open the floodgates” and let thousands pour into Europe if the West does not help combat illegal immigration, officials have warned.

As Europe fears a bumper year for Mediterranean crossings, detention centres and coastguards say they are chronically underfunded and lack the basic tools they need to stem the flow.

Last year, 154,000 people crossed the Mediterranean from Libya to Italy, according to Frontex, the EU’s border agency. This year the number could more than double as migrants are redirected via war-torn Libya following the closure of the Balkans route.

Lacking funds, supplies, tools and training, Libyan authorities say they have been abandoned by the West and have not benefited from £3.6 million supposedly committed to combat illegal immigration. EU support programs are on hold as the civil war escalates.

“The state is very weak and there is no money,” Colonel Mohamed Bourgiba, head of the Gweea detention centre, said. “Most of us here aren’t even getting paid.” Gweea, 30 miles (50km) east of Tripoli, holds hundreds of migrants. If things do not change, he said, “We will just stop working and open the floodgates. Because at the moment we are doing all of this for nothing.”

Libya appears to be eyeing some of the funding the EU has so generously doled out to Turkey to keep its refugees at home recently:

The agreement struck in March between the EU and Turkey to send migrants that cross illegally to Greece back across the Aegean puts more pressure on Libya when it is buckling under an 18-month conflict, AbdelRahim Rajahi, a colleague of the general, added. “We are operating 50 per cent underfunded but have we seen a single Euro from Europe? No.”

Crossings to Italy are already up markedly this year, while ISIS is reportedly using the refugee routes through Libya. Meanwhile, there’s no food or proper equipment for Libyan forces supposedly fighting terrorists:

Mohamed Bayyoud, 35, a former law consultant who built a reputation as a fierce warrior in the 2011 revolution, said that they needed the five-year UN arms embargo to be lifted urgently. “We need the international community to equip us. The range of our rifles is just 500 metres, which is useless,” said the young commander, dressed in a camouflage cowboy hat and civilian shoes.[..]

US and UK special forces visited the Abu Grain checkpoint six months ago to gather information on how the militants could be stopped, said Brigadier-General Mahmoud Zaghil, who is in charge of running military operations in the central region. They promised to supply at least bulletproof vests, but they had yet to arrive. When they did, the soldiers would attack. “We have the intel, we have the men, we are ready to fight. Isis is an international problem. As soon as the West realises that and help us we will conquer them.”

Is this the Libyan government’s fault for misdiverting funds, the West’s fault for not following through, or just an omnishambles? Nobody’s saying—and the media doesn’t seem particularly curious to find out, or to put the pieces together. Of course, if Obama were a Republican there would be non-stop, wall-to-wall coverage of this continuing disaster, and if Hillary Clinton were a Republican the press would never let anybody forget for a minute that this is the policy she once hoped would be the star in her crown.

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  • Proud Skeptic

    In the end, it seems that every new crisis…be it immigration or climate change…is just a new excuse to extort money out of successful countries.

    • Beauceron

      Ya, think?

      Re-distribution, the Left calls it. Sounds better than extortion. After all European countries only became successful through colonialism and racism, so they never really earned that success anyway.

      Besides, don’t Europeans want a richly diverse society and all the approval that brings from the elite?

      • Proud Skeptic

        The deal between the European countries has always been that they will put up with each other’s differences and pretend they like it provided they are the formerly Judeo Christian cultures that constituted traditional Europe.
        It was never considered nor was it part of the deal to let a bunch of backwards, unable to be assimilated, people from Middle Eastern countries.
        The EU was always conceived of as a classical European club.

        • Beauceron

          That was before the multicultural movement hit the political scene. Now (if you’re Europe or the US/Canada/Australia) you must absolutely diversify your people. Not sure why. But you’re racist if you don’t.

  • Jim__L

    I don’t think it’s quite fair to say that the Libyan authorities (such as they are) are “opening” any “floodgates” — they’re currently just standing there with their finger in the dike and hoping for help to arrive. If they abandon their pursuit of our interests, who’s to blame them, particularly if they start getting shot at?

    Maybe it’s the contrarian in me talking now, but I’m really starting to see the point of Pottery Barn NeoConservatism.

    I was against the Iraq War … but once we were in, I was in favor of the Surge. That was about the only thing that could salvage the situation, and *it worked*. I think in this case that we need to step up — and it would probably be best if we could step up as NATO, as there’s a good deal of congruency between that organization and the stakeholders here — to do a bit of nation-building again.

    What would a new Surge look like?

    • Robert

      Please define what you mean by “Step up.” Also, what kind of nation is to be built? Libya is quite literally Pandora’s box, contained there in were the evils that stalk the Muslim world until Clinton and Obama bashed in the lid. Just how do you propose WE contain that?

      • MrJest

        Gunboats.

      • Jim__L

        Here are some requirements…

        – Smash ISIS wherever it takes root.
        – Invite Italy and France to participate and contribute, as this is their backyard.
        – Provide security to redevelop Libya’s economy.
        – Determine natural groupings in Libya – maybe they’re tribal, maybe they’re geographic, maybe they’re economic. Picture what a stable post-civil-war settlement would probably look like, then push for that to happen sooner rather than later. Make sure all sides figure that they have more to lose than to gain from further chaos.

        Looking at these requirements carefully will probably steer us towards a solution.

    • CrassyKnoll

      If by “finger in the dike” you mean “waving them through and shooting anyone who tries to remain” then you are spot on.

  • Andrew Allison

    It would be less costly for Europe to simply return all immigrants from Libya to Libya (or anywhere the Libyan directs). As long as the door is open, the flow will only increase.

  • BuddyPC

    Here come the widows and orphans!

    • Robert

      Who could have guessed it could come to this?

  • MrJest

    Do not nations like Italy and Greece possess military patrol-sized craft, equipped with heavy machine guns at least? There’s the answer to the problem…

  • Rick Caird

    Europe better figure out a way to stop the re invasion of Europe, or they will lose once again. Say hello to burkas and Sharia law.

  • jeburke

    The “migrants” would stay home if EU countries did not “resettle” them — at great cost, of course.

  • Hard Little Machine

    It’s hard to see the bad news in any of this. When Europe burns we’ll be able to see the flames from space. Oh the BBC will of course fulfill its mandate and blame the Jews and Trump, but so what?

  • delta 5297

    “Of course, if Obama were a Republican there would be non-stop, wall-to-wall coverage of this continuing disaster, and if Hillary Clinton were a Republican the press would never let anybody forget for a minute that this is the policy she once hoped would be the star in her crown.”

    Umm, no. Intentions matter. If Obama had rushed to war and skipped over all other diplomatic options, if he had shown a eagerness for war rather than seeing as a last resort…then he would deserve non-stop, wall-to-wall criticism. But Obama didn’t do that, Bush did. Perhaps you can argue that the aftermath of the Libyan intervention was mishandled similarly to the aftermath of the invasion of Iraq, but the initial decision to go to war in the first place was different. Libya was a just war, Iraq was not.

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