The announcement this week that British, Italian, and French military officers are being sent to “advise” the Libyan resistance expands NATO’s intervention in Libya and adds to the number of U.S., French, and British Special and intelligence forces already on the ground there. As well, the Obama administration’s decision to send military equipment worth $25 million to the resistance deepens U.S. involvement. The “just-protecting-civilians” and “no-boots-on-the-ground” mantras emanating from Washington and NATO capitals are quite simply lies.
First, let me apologize for not responding to comments in the last week or more. I have been traveling and will be for the next week or ten days. When I get home, I will respond to all of you who have generously taken the time to comment.
Let us, for a moment, return to the golden days of yesteryear when Arab tyrants could keep order in their countries by simply killing their opponents in any number necessary to hold power. No Arab tyrant was better at this than the late Syrian president, Hafez al-Assad. President Assad’s standout power-keeping moment came in 1982 at the Syrian city of Hama when the Syrian army’s massed artillery made rubble of much of the city and killed 20,000 or so people in an operation meant to annihilate the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood (SMB). The Hama attack served Assad’s immediate goal, temporarily breaking the Brotherhood’s back and driving its survivors deep underground and into exile in Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and elsewhere, where they licked their wounds and prepared for the future.
Several years ago, I was asked during a television interview why the U.S.-led coalition was not winning in Afghanistan. I responded by saying something close to: “Because we have not killed nearly enough of the Taliban, al-Qaeda, and their civilian supporters.” At the time my answer struck me as a withering blast of the obvious, but it shocked and won denunciation from much of the media, pro-Republican and pro-Democrat. The pro-Democratic media, however, were especially upset and surprised — notably the hilarious, ban-the-1st-Amendment folks at “Media Matters for America” — that anyone in this day and age could believe, as the Confederate cavalryman Nathan Bedford Forrest memorably said: “War is about fighting, and fighting is about killing.”
The rising concern in Washington, London, and other allied capitals over what is happening in Libya is reminiscent of concerns about Iraq once it became clear that the aftermath of removing Saddam would not be a cakewalk for the U.S.-led coalition. This concern is best seen in the increasing number of U.S., UK, and French officials — named and anonymous — and pro-war journalists who are talking about the possibility of encountering “unintended consequences” from the Libyan intervention.
Next to the right to bear arms, I do not think there is a clearer statement in the U.S. Constitution than the one that says only Congress can declare war. Reasonable people can argue about other, less clear passages, but these two neither need nor will abide “explanation and interpretation” from our Ivy League betters. (NB: I once thought the same about Freedom of Speech, until the elite folks who feel duty-bound to perfect the rest of us riff-raff came up with the debate-stopping tool of laws against “hate speech.”)
With the West focused on Libya, Egypt, and Yemen, it may be in tiny Bahrain where Washington pays the piper for 35 years of intervention in the Arab world. A prolonged Sunni-Shia shooting war in Bahrain would make other regional events pale in importance to the United States and the West. Bahrain could well be the place where the world as we know it ends.
On FOX News this week, I described President Obama’s attitude toward Libya and the Muslim world generally as that of an “arrogant” and “racist” interventionist, a description I thought would surprise few. To my surprise, however, this commonplace analysis provoked a flood of angry and astounded, Claude-Rains-like “I’m shocked” comments from Obama supporters and those generally ignorant about the ongoing collapse of the always wrongheaded, tyrant-based, and pro-Israel U.S. strategic policy in the Muslim world and the interventionist causes of the unfolding disaster.
Rep. King’s hearings
As I have noted here before, Rep. King’s hearings are an important opportunity for U.S. Muslim leaders to tell the Congress the truth. Though it would take moral courage and a willingness to be abused, U.S. Muslim leaders now have access to a highly publicized forum in which to explain to Congress and all Americans that the main instruments of “radicalization” in the Muslim-American community are the proselytizing activities conducted or sponsored by the Saudis, other wealthy Arab Peninsula donors, and the Muslim Brotherhood, and the impact of U.S. and Western foreign policies in the Islamic world, especially unqualified U.S. support for Israel.
This article was written for the Washington Post. It is on their website now and will be in Sunday’s print edition. In writing the piece, I simply tried to point out the advantages that al-Qaeda and its allies will derive — or at least seek to exploit — from the ongoing unrest in the Arab world, and to use their documents and statements over the past 15 years to see how current events mesh or do not mesh with their goals.