NATO Had Months And Months To Destroy, Or Seize, Libyan Weaons -- Why Didn't It?
Remember the more than 5,000 sorties by NATO planes over Libya, designed to prevent Qaddafy from using his airforce against the rebels? Woudln't it have made more sense simply to have destroyed his airforce -- planes and helicopters -- on the ground? Woudln't it have made more sense to destroy as many of his weapons armories that could be found, all the while claiming plausibly it was being done to help prevent them from being used against the rebels? And once Qaddafy had fallen, wouldn't then have been a good time to locate the remaining weapons depots, with the help of some agents on the ground, and destroyed them, before the local Arabs were still momentarily grateful for NATO's help, and not quite focussed on that weaponry?
So why didn't NATO take the occasion offered it? Why, after the fiascos in Iraq and Afghanistan, after the continuing fiasco of meretricious Pakistan, but before all the other fiascos of the "Arab Spring" which consisted not of revolutions, but rather of a series of uprisiings against a local despot, but as that local despot was always, for his own reasons, an enemy of the Greater Despotism of Islam (for despots -- Qaddafy, Saddam Hussein, even Mubarak -- don't like the rivalry posed by Muhammad, don't like the opposition that necessarily will be most potently mosque-based), and the Greater Despotism of Islam is back, with a vengeance, in Libya and in Tunisia and in Egypt, with scattered returns, as yet, from tribal-riven Yemen and sect-riven Bahrain and Syria.
Now those weapons have gone southwasrd to Mali, and perhaps to Niger and Burkina Faso and Nigeria and Senegal -- who knows? And they have gone eastward to Egypt, and to the Sinai, where Al-Qaeda and groups just like Al-Qaeda buy them up.
What a chance was missed. Has any Stone Of Folly been left by the West unturned?
Posted on 02/26/2013 12:14 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald