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Canadaâ€™s Misadventure in Libya
David B. Harris is a Canadian lawyer, a 30 year veteran of the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service. He is currently director of the International Intelligence program of INSIGNIS Strategic Research, Inc. He is a widely published intelligence commentator whose work frequently appears in the opinion columns of The Ottawa Citizen and The Calgary Herald. His advices have also been sought by US Congressional and intelligence committees and forums. We count Harris as a close friend and colleague on these matters. Harris is not afraid to take his government to task for international faux pas in the area of counterterrorism. Given rapidly emerging troubling developments in the wake of the toppling of the late Libyan strongman Moammar Gaddaffi, Harris is concerned about the untoward security effects from Canada’s participation in this North African regime change. He makes it out as an object lesson of that adage be careful what you wish for. His warnings to Canada’s Harper Government in Ottawa about the Libyan misadventure can also be leveled at the leaders of the UK , France, and most certainly at President Obama, who has done a victory lap after leading from behind and letting NATO carry the ball across the goal line.
In this Canadian HuffPO column, “Canada’s Misadventure in Libya,” Harris issues a warning that the ‘victory’ in Libya may unleash an Islamic terrorism threat against the very same NATO forces that liberated the country.
Here are some telling excerpts:
We launched a regime-change operation without any idea who would replace Gaddafi. In an orgy of post facto fact-finding, Foreign Minister John Baird raced into Libya with the foregone political conclusion: the rebels are our pals. French President Sarkozy achieved something similar by sending philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy -- "God is dead but my hair is perfect," goes the current jibe -- to Libya to rubber stamp comparably rash declarations.
Such people were oblivious to the Sinjar Records. These captured documents pinpoint origins of foreign terrorists in Iraq, and give evidence of the kinds of Islamists who might replace Gaddafi. West Point's Combating Terrorism Center concluded from these papers that Libya supplied roughly double per capita the terrorists provided by that 9/11 terrorist launch-pad, Saudi Arabia.
As one news source reported, "of the half of Libyans who listed their "work" in Iraq, more than 85 per cent volunteered to be suicide bombers." Nice work if you can get it.
As an illustration of the possibilities, consider that today's garrison-commander of the all-important Tripoli area is Abdul Hakim Belhadj, an apparent extremist. A veteran of the 1980s' Afghan jihad, he is reportedly a former head of the Islamist Libyan Islamic Fighting Group. Belhadj led the country's al-Qaeda underground, and was targeted by the CIA's renditions' program.
Then there were people like Abu Sufian Ibrahim Ahmed Hamuda bin Qumu, veteran of the Afghan jihad who was released from Guantanamo prison. Now a significant rebel leader, Qumu was declared by U.S. authorities "a probable member of al-Qaeda," according to the New York Times.
Add to this, reports that Sudan's army -- the sharp end of Khartoum's genocidal Islamist regime -- may have fought in Libya on the side of our National Transitional Council 'allies,' and be ready to shape the new Libyan leadership -- with Iran's help.
Then there is the draft Libyan constitution, imposing Sharia Islamic law. Such systems in other countries commonly manifest themselves in various forms of religious and gender apartheid. In Saudi Arabia, Iran and -- increasingly -- 'Arab Spring' Egypt, for example, non-Muslims are debased as second-class citizens, or worse, and women valued in fractional terms of men. As though to demonstrate the threat, the new post-Gaddafi acting Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril announced as a first act of "liberation" the quashing of Gaddafi laws banning polygamy.
Now that the possibility of a radical-Islamic Libya is finally dawning on western leaders, the White House and its allies have something further to fear: obtuse war-planning may have caused about 20,000 portable Libyan surface-to-air (SAM) missiles to go missing. Missiles like this eat airliners for breakfast.
Our political commanders ignored facts, especially this one: without enough boots on the ground, you cannot guard the arms depots of the state you've R2Ped into chaos. Guns and bombs -- and 20,000 missiles -- can go loose, be used by enemies to kill our forces and, eventually, average citizens here at home.
So what is the result of all this R2P adventuring?
Canada charged into a military mission with no guarantee about which of our enemies might ultimately run Libya as a base targeting Canadians. Muslim Brotherhood? Al-Qaeda? Iran? Sudan? Some combination?
And to reinforce the risks, we supported international funding of Libya's new jumble of leadership, a leadership that is proving sympathetic to Sharia impositions.
Meanwhile, North Korea tells Britain's ambassador that the Libyan intervention taught Kim Jong-Il never to give up his nukes. Gaddafi did, they said, and look what happened to him. Has Canada helped save thousands in Libya only to hazard the future of millions of potential nuclear victims, including those West Coast Canadians within Pyongyang's ballistic missile range?