President Obama intervened in 2011 to destabilize the leaders of two confirmed United States allies, Libya in North Africa and Egypt in the Middle East. He achieved his objectives with the brutal assassination of Colonel Gaddafi and the caged trial of Hosni Mubarak. Events have followed precisely predictable paths since the initiation of hostilities against these two pro-Western leaders.
Gaddafi’s Libya could not possibly expect to survive the combined assault of NATO forces, even given the ragtag, undisciplined rebels that rose up against his regime. Mubarak could not outbid the United States in its successful effort to deploy taxpayers’ monies in bribing a corrupt Egyptian military to shift allegeiance in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood and its anti-Western collaborators. So spring promise inevitably turned into glorious summer for those who seek chaos in the Middle East.
Glorious summer, however, turned out to be brief indeed. Predictably, the fall has brought reality, in the form of internal dissent and rising corruption among those who have replaced the old regimes. All is now far from well in the Maghreb and the Middle East.
In Tripoli rival militia gangs face off against each other deploying weapons and materiel kindly left behind by NATO airlifts. The Libyan police force is non-existent and brigades from a variety of tribes and regions control different parts of the city. Where have all Obama’s beloved secular liberals gone? Surely they are not out there patrolling the streets.
‘I am now less confident that everyone is on the same mission,’ said one Western official who spoke on the condition of anonymity. ‘There are Misuratans, the Tripoli brigades and Zintanis in Tripoli. The leaders in Tripoli are very forgiving of the Misuratans – they see them as heroes. But they perceive the Zintanis as a problem.’ Alice Fordham, ‘Rivals face off around divided Tripoli’, The Washington Post, November 13, 2011
In Egypt, the corrupt generals who currently rule the country are foot-dragging on the transition to democracy. They are intent on remaining in office until after presidential elections that could be held as late as 2013. Why? Because the generals are intent on protecting their vast commercial holdings purloined under the leadership of Hosni Mubarak. To this end, they are pressing for rules that would forbid civilian oversight of the military budget and that would grant the military council, rather than a new parliament, the most influence in writing the new constitution:
“pro-democracy activists and prominent members of Egypt’s political elite are accusing the generals of trying to maintain a dominant hand in the country’s future, a role the military has played here since Gamal Abdel Nasser and his Free Officers overthrew King Farouk in 1952.” Leila Fadel, ‘Egyptian generals seek to retain powers, critics say’, The Washington Post, November 13, 2011
Enjoy these winters of discontent while you may, President Obama. They are the predictable fruits of your labors. One year hence, with any luck, American will be enjoying your own winter of discontent, and looking forward to the promise of a new spring in America.