Meanwhile, In Libya…

While the world remains focused on the Ukrainian Crisis, Libya continues to toil in a never-ending cycle of violence and mass civil disturbance. Since the collapse of Muammar Gaddafi’s dictatorship nearly three years ago, Libya has seen a string of cobbled-together coalition governments come and go amidst constant barrages of violence in the streets.

As reported by Yahoo News:

Two-and-a-half years after the fall of former leader Muammar Gaddafi, the oil-rich North African state is struggling to contain violence between rival forces, with Islamist militants gaining an ever-stronger grip on the south of the country.

“The situation in Libya is very worrying,” French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told reporters on the margins of a conference in Rome to discuss the Libyan crisis.

The weak government in Tripoli is struggling to control well-armed former anti-Gaddafi rebels and Islamist militias, while parliament was stormed by protestors at the weekend who blamed the politicians for the growing chaos.

Libyan Foreign Minister Mohamed Abdulaziz pointed to the difficulties of creating a stable political culture in a country that had only recently gone through a civil war after four decades of authoritarian rule.

“We do not deny that we have political struggles and problems,” he said. “We suffer from the absence of a regime. Libya was kidnapped for more than 40 years. Political parties were forbidden under the former regime.”

It is not surprising that Libya is facing such tensions. Under Gaddafi, the different factions were basically wound springs, waiting for the chance to unwind. When his iron grip was loosened, the floodgates burst. Do not forget: The US government is partially responsible for this chaos. It was Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama who insisted that the USA double-cross it’s post-9/11 secret ally Gaddafi by encouraging internal protests in Libya when they arose, and by enacting a “no-fly” zone in order to grind Gaddafi down more quickly.

Gaddafi was a bad guy and he got what he deserved, on a purely deontological basis. But look at Libya now; I strongly suspect that a great number of Libyans yearn for the relative stability and peace of Gaddafi’s reign, as opposed to the insane sectarian warfare in the streets. What’s happened in Libya is a good example of what always seems to happen when the USA sprinkles guns and money on civil conflicts in third-world nations: an annihilation of civil society, the economy, and the division of labor. Let us be thankful that the US government did not work similar magic on Bashar Assad in Syria, or else life in Syria would probably be even more miserable than it is now (if that even seems possible).

The current situation in Libya may have come about even if the US government had chosen not to intervene. But are we sure? Who’s to say that Gaddafi would not have finally relented and approved transitory measures that would have made for a smoother transition? I agree that it’s doubtful, but who knows? Maybe one of the reasons he held onto power with such vigor was merely out of spite for being double-crossed by the West.

At any rate, the US government should’ve stayed out of it. Gaddafi deserved to be removed from power by freedom-seeking Libyans; but encouraging violence is never the best solution to political problems. The US government shouldn’t have been giving money, guns, and military aid to anti-Gaddafi rebels. Non-interventionist libertarians like myself warned beforehand that Libya would surely end up this way if the US government intervened. By jove, we were right. Even still, non-interventionist foreign policy is derided by mainstream Republicans and Democrats as “too extreme” and “isolationist”. I suppose “leap into conflicts that have nothing to do with us” and “bomb the hell out of people with drones” is less extreme.

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