Libya and the “Way Forward”

According to recent news reports, Libya is on the verge of civil war. Interestingly, The New York Times published an op-ed that was a fair reporting of Libya’s erupting chaos and anarchy. Until the penultimate paragraph.

Arguably due to space limitations and a goal not to deal with the past but the “way forward,” the op-ed remarkably ignores the U.S. and French handiwork in deposing the tyrant Gadhafi, a policy that was essentially clueless.

Indeed, the last two paragraphs touch upon some relevant political subjects worth noting:

The cancellation of some military aid to Egypt could grant President Obama a novel opportunity to redirect some of the funds withheld from Egypt toward institution building in Libya without the need for Congressional approval. To date, the Obama administration has been hamstrung by Republican obstruction on Libya, which has focused on scoring political points through endless investigations of last year’s attack on the United States diplomatic mission in Benghazi.

Mr. Obama should now seize this opportunity to create a virtuous precedent by switching his financial support from those who have perpetrated a coup to a country that might suffer one.

Just some quick thoughts:

  • It is odd to plant in an op-ed in such a naked form the argument that President Obama could redirect cancelled Egyptian foreign aid to Libya. Can Obama just rewrite that by fiat?  Perhaps, but what if the authorizing legislation was a $3 billion aid package to Egypt?
  • “Institution building in Libya?” We have to send in a team of black ops to kidnap some al-Qaeda leader who has been parading around in public in Benghazi for months and then rush out as the Arab Street goes nuts and we’re going to institution build in this country? We can’t even institution build in Detroit. Shall we even mention the Obamacare website portal?
  • President Obama is “hamstrung by Republican obstruction on Libya?” And, how pray tell have the “feckless” Republicans done that – by investigating how four Americans were murdered, including an Ambassador, on what is effectively American soil?
  • To the real point in the last paragraph.  We must show our support for the democratically-elected Muslim Brotherhood, abandon Egypt (there is the aid issue, not so naked any more) and support, well, just support something in Libya . . . we’re still not sure what it is we’re supposed to support but we do know we’re not to support the Egyptian interim government . . . . Really?