Libyan Afterparty
Libya to UN: Help Us Before We Become a "Failed State"
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  • f1b0nacc1

    Too late

    • Corlyss

      My thought exactly. Where’s the author been for the last 10 years? I think it will be a near run thing if we can save Jordan and Israel as islands of sanity in the wash of insane butchery.

  • FriendlyGoat

    It seems that several of the former dictators (Mubarak, Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi and Assad, for instance) knew that their countries would fall into chaos without their authoritarianism. We don’t have to like any of those dictators to admit we were wrong in not believing them. The same messes could easily occur in Jordan and Saudi Arabia, as well.

    • Corlyss

      I agree. We used to be much better at identifying our national interests than we have been for the last 10 years. The thing that neither Bush nor Obama grasped was that stability in the region was THE most important factor for us as well as the international system we’re the mechanics for. 10 years ago, our biggest problem in the region was Iran, and even that conflict was manageable under most circumstances. Now we got a lot of empty rhetoric devoted to shallow democratic emblems without the necessary underpinnings required to make democracy a success, and chaos from the Maghreb to the Levant that’s going to be a big problem for decades to come. My only consolation in it all was that in 2000 Kaplan predicted this as the likely result not of feckless US policy but of inexorable demographic changes and intractable geographic truths.

      • Bruce

        Eventually, supporting despots, just because they aren’t as despotic as the alternative, is a losing proposition. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have the answers, but supporting the less bad, but pro U.S. totalitarian doesn’t seem to be a long term solution. The “He’s a son of a bitch, but he’s our son of a bitch” strategy is dubious and not sustainable.

        • lukelea

          We have yet to figure out how you can have a representative democracy in clannish, tribal-based societies, where loyalty is to the family not to the individual or the state and children marry their cousins nearly half of the time. Until we (or they) do, it is hard to imagine an alternative to authoritarian rule. Maybe one clan, one vote?

        • FriendlyGoat

          The key in these places, I think, is a dictator who is strong enough to keep a lid on—-and, not an SOB. We now know IT’S HARD to keep a lid on. That’s much of the reason these guys go “too” tough and mean.

          • Bruce

            When a country is that dependent upon the ruling class making almost flawless decisions and not over reaching, it won’t work. Leaders always make bad decisions and always over reach, unless there is a limit on them, like our Constitution used to place on our leaders until they were able to get away with usurpations.

        • Corlyss

          Not necessarily. 10 years ago Tunisia was a model of a forward-looking Western-oriented benevolent despotic government that concentrated on building up a middle class (a permanent opposition to despots) and democratic precursor institutions. Something went horribly wrong with the ruling family in the interim, and all that progress was squandered in a looting mentality by some of the family. I don’t pretend to know the specifics, except the development has been tragic for Tunisia. However, they appear to be the state most likely to emerge first from the pestilential chaos of the Arab Spring.

      • FriendlyGoat

        In some ways, I do not blame either Bush or Obama for hoping that western-assisted elections would produce functional secular democracies to replace dictatorships. If we Americans believe in our own documents and history, there really is no other position for us to take—–in principle.

        HOWEVER, despite much blood and treasure expended on our part, we now find Bush, and Obama and most of the rest of us both disappointed and frustrated to learn that the saturation of Islam is preventing secular progress from blooming in Afghanistan and Iraq—–or any of the other countries.

        Most people STILL are not admitting that Islam itself, the philosophy, is the stumbling block. Bush went out of his way after 9/11 to excuse Islam, and Obama has sought to respect it as some kind of acceptable alternate world view. It actually is a colossal falsehood making secular democracy impossible. I wish we had all realized it several trillion dollars ago.

        • Corlyss

          Well, you can understand the monumental struggle with our founding principles that make faulting Islam per se almost beyond our ability. I’ve got somewhere around here Lewis’ What Went Wrong, which attempts to parse for the Western mind why 12th Century Islam, once the flower of tolerance and scientific exploration, suddenly went dark, primitive, and bloody brutal. Understanding the origins may not help find a solution very much in 1) an increasingly secular world that has not yet figured out how to value religion’s contributions to society again, and 2) a West with a long history of trying to avoid religious conflicts.

  • lukelea

    Libya has been on its last legs for quite a while. . .

    Just think, if we succeed in removing Assad, Syria can be on its last legs too before long. Or does WRM and Co. still think we should be intervening on behalf of “moderate” rebel forces there?

    • Corlyss

      As long as Iran stood behind Syria, Obama’s noise about removing Assad was just that. Libya’s problem apparently was they didn’t have Iran as a patron or we’d have backed down from them too. It’s the next best thing to having nukes.

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    Cultures change at glacial speeds, and Islamic culture has proven that it isn’t ready for Democracy and the Rule of Law. We should encourage the Jihadists fight with each other, because if they focus their resources on killing each other the will have little left for murdering innocent westerners.

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