Sunday, March 26, 2017

Seriously, What are We Thinking?

Will nobody make our Libya policy less stupid?

My head hurts:

The chaos that has crippled Libya since 2011 is sorting itself out but not in a way acceptable to the UN and the West. Now Russia is openly backing the [House of Representatives] faction that is opposed by the UN but is gaining support within Libya. As the old saying goes; life is what happens while you’re making other plans. ...

GNA [the Government of National Accord} controls all the government ministries located in Tripoli but the rival HoR (House of Representatives) government based in Tobruk controls eastern Libya and, more importantly, most of the oil export (and many oil fields) facilities. HoR is better organized, united and more hostile to Islamic radicals and terrorists of any sort.

I remain perplexed that we don't provide support to Hiftar's HoR faction to at least bring it into the GNA. Why drive the most anti-jihadi faction into Russia's arms that not only provides Russia the opportunity to regain bases there but also buttresses Iranian conspiracy theories that America created jihadis to make Moslems look bad and give America the excuse to take control of the Middle East?

Russia likes portraying themselves as the true foe of ISIL while they pursue their narrow interests even as America carries the load in fighting the terrorists.

I was not in favor of taking down Khadaffi considering he voluntarily gave up his nuclear program after the fall of Saddam's regime. Fear was the beginning of a bit of wisdom. We had enough problems without bringing Khadaffi to justice as long as he was out of the jihadi-supporting game.

If Europe was worried about refugees from the unrest, let them handle it, I thought.

But I was no fan of terrorist-backing Khadaffi even in his "new and improved" form. And when President Obama put our credibility on the line for getting rid of him, I could back it even as I worried that it would take too long to succeed.

I was wrong on that, and the coalition endured a long air-based campaign against Khadaffi without fragmenting. The pro-Khadaffi propaganda war never seemed to take off in painting the war as bombing brown people for oil.

But I was also wrong that the Obama administration with all its big-brained nuance and complaints about the post-war plans of the Bush administration for Iraq would at least have better plans for the post-war.

Or the Europeans, from the birthplace of nuance, would have a plan other than hoping America would do the job.

Yet even as jihadis have regenerated to be a major threat to the region since America's battlefield victory in Iraq in 2008 was sabotaged by our withdrawal from Iraq in 2011, we did not offer support to Hiftar who rejects jihadis when the GNA has disturbing Islamist ties.

I just don't think our diplomats are playing three-dimensional chess above my pay grade.

I think our diplomats are stumbling around stepping on rakes. Stop that.