The long march: Libya’s capital falls to Islamists

posted at 6:41 pm on August 25, 2014 by Noah Rothman

It was the conflict which gave birth to the infamous and orphaned Obama doctrine of “leading from behind.” The coalition air war over Libya, a response to Muammar Gaddafi’s brutal efforts to suppress the Arab Spring rebellions in that country, was once touted by the administration as one of the president’s signature foreign policy achievements.

“After four decades of brutal dictatorship and eight months of deadly conflict, the Libyan people can now celebrate their freedom and the beginning of a new era of promise,” Obama said in a prepared statement delivered on October 23, 2011.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton echoed the president and noted that Libya had been set on a path toward democracy. “The transitional authorities can build on this movement by promoting reconciliation and respect for human rights across Libyan society, while helping to prevent reprisals and ensuring the justice and due process that the Libyan people expect and deserve,” she said at the time.

“From Tripoli to Misurata to Benghazi — today, Libya is free,” Obama said in speech delivered before the United Nations. “This is how the international community is supposed to work — nations standing together for the sake of peace and security, and individuals claiming their rights.”

These celebrations were shown to be premature when a sophisticated terrorist attack against American diplomatic and CIA outposts in Benghazi resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya. It was not until today, though, when the country’s capital fell to Islamist militants that the administration’s post-campaign Libya policy was exposed as utter folly.

“Libya’s Islamist militias said Sunday they have consolidated their hold on Tripoli and its international airport, driving out rival militias to the outskirts of the capital following a weekslong battle for control of the strategic hub,” The Washington Post reported on Monday.

The violence in Libya is rooted in the empowerment of militias after successive transitional governments since the 2011 ouster of longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi depended on them to maintain order in the absence of a strong police force or a unified military.

It also comes as part of a backlash by Islamist factions after losing their power in parliament following June elections and in the face of a campaign by a renegade military general against extremist Islamic militias in Benghazi, Libya’s second-largest city.

But this has been the worst bout of violence in the battle over turf and influence since 2011. Mysterious airstrikes have struck the positions of Islamist militias, sparking accusations by the groups that Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, who oppose Islamists in the region, were behind it.

An Islamist group calling itself Dawn of Libya has declared that it is largely in control of Tripoli and the surrounding areas, making it the de facto governing authority in the area.

Coming on the heels of the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, it is easy to get the impression that Islamic fundamentalism is doing everything but retreating. From Kosovo to Saudi Arabia, local authorities are mopping up cells linked to the Islamic State. It is almost like the long march Islamic militant groups embarked on so long ago with the aim of creating a pan-Islamic caliphate is beginning to bear fruit.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2

Where did I do that?

JetBoy on August 25, 2014 at 11:01 PM

Go to your post of 9:20PM

Cleombrotus on August 26, 2014 at 6:36 AM

RE:

It makes no difference that I’m 99% conservative on social and fiscal matters, vote GOP every election, and publicly call out the militant Leftist gays. So all that taken into account, I can honestly say I know what it’s like to:

…co-exist with people who think that everything you do, whether it involves your religious beliefs or your secular beliefs, is an offense to them

Thank you for posting this, JB. Know that you are not alone in your ‘pain’.

Von Kleist on August 26, 2014 at 8:39 AM

Deposing a brutal dictator, claiming a victory for Democracy, while watching the islamists that dictator had kept at bay quickly take over the country? Weird, that sounds sort of familiar…

libfreeordie on August 26, 2014 at 8:51 AM

corkie: I think Terp Mole was the only commenter on Hot Air supporting Obama EU conservatives (Cameron, Sarkozy, Berlusconi, Merkel) about Libya.

FTFY

Libya’s subsequent destabilization is the unholy child of Obama’s Benghazi blunder. Try harder to keep up.

Terp Mole on August 26, 2014 at 9:20 AM

“After four decades of brutal dictatorship and eight months of deadly conflict, the Libyan people can now celebrate their freedom and the beginning of a new era of promise,” Obama said in a prepared statement delivered on October 23, 2011.

An Islamist group calling itself Dawn of Libya has declared that it is largely in control of Tripoli and the surrounding areas, making it the de facto governing authority in the area.

Enjoy your new “freedom” Libyans (especially you Libyan women and girls).

And don’t forget to show your gratitude for your new “freedom” to the person responsible for it: Barry (“they should be thanking me”) Obama.

SmartPower!

AZCoyote on August 26, 2014 at 9:23 AM

libfreeordie: Deposing a brutal dictator, claiming a victory for Democracy, while watching the islamists that dictator had kept at bay quickly take over the country? Weird, that sounds sort of familiar

Indeed.

Just as Saddam’s end was a laudable triumph for Coalition Forces, Kaddafi’s end was a laudable triumph of EU conservatives (Cameron, Sarkozy, Berlusconi, Merkel) over the North African immigration jihad. Since Kaddafi’s overthrow, EU immigration has shifted from benign eastern European states and increasingly Asia, replacing North African areas.

Much like his Iraq neglect, Libya’s destabilization is the unholy child of Obama’s Benghazi blunder.

The real story is whether the Egyptian military pays any attention to Obama’s tongue clucking. EU will benefit from Egypt, Libya and Algeria under secular military rule.

Terp Mole on August 26, 2014 at 9:35 AM

Deposing a brutal dictator, claiming a victory for Democracy, while watching the islamists that dictator had kept at bay quickly take over the country? Weird, that sounds sort of familiar…

libfreeordie on August 26, 2014 at 8:51 AM

Yeah, you’d think the smartest man and smartest woman ever in American politics would have avoided the mistakes of Chimpy McBushitler. Weird.

I guess they thought cutting out the democracy part would make things turn out different. Weird.

HumpBot Salvation on August 26, 2014 at 9:52 AM

Another glaring failure by the hapless Obama and his national security team of idiots. It would be laughable if we weren’t going to spend the next 30 years recovering from the worst administration in US history, abetted by the most servile lickspittle media in US history.

Chowderhead123 on August 26, 2014 at 10:00 AM

No wonder Barry just plays golf.

ORconservative on August 26, 2014 at 10:03 AM

Deposing a brutal dictator, claiming a victory for Democracy, while watching the islamists that dictator had kept at bay quickly take over the country? Weird, that sounds sort of familiar…

libfreeordie on August 26, 2014 at 8:51 AM

Well, I normally disagree with libfreeordie, but not on this one. Robert Frost said it best when summing up G.K. Chesterton’s longer version of the thought, “Don’t ever take a fence down until you know why it was put up.” For Iraq vets like me who saw this coming a mile away, it’s hard to watch.

Don Michael Bitsconi on August 26, 2014 at 10:06 AM

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shared a laugh with a television news reporter moments after hearing deposed Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi had been killed.

“We came, we saw, he died,” she joked when told of news reports of Qaddafi’s death by an aide in between formal interviews.

The reporter asked if Qaddafi’s death had anything to do with her surprise visit to show support for the Libyan people.

“No,” she replied, before rolling her eyes and saying “I’m sure it did” with a chuckle.


Yes. Libya has been one big joke for Mrs. Clinton. Starting with the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi.

We don’t need another four years for Obama and Clinton’s policies. There is enough danger already.

Marcus Traianus on August 26, 2014 at 10:06 AM

That’s right, woodchuck-chuckers – it’s… GROUNDHOG DAY!

Don Michael Bitsconi on August 26, 2014 at 10:12 AM

The USA’s Oaf in Chief had NO idea that Egypt and the UAE, his ‘friends’ were going to strike the ‘bad’ ones in Libya.

Schadenfreude on August 26, 2014 at 11:06 AM

Everything, but all thins, foreign and domestic, which obama touched, went to Hell.

Schadenfreude on August 26, 2014 at 11:06 AM

Libya is a lot closer to Europe than to the US, so is Europe waiting for sucker USA to take care of it?

BTW Libya is on the Mediterranean coast and therefore easy to invade or just bomb.

Chessplayer on August 26, 2014 at 11:09 AM

0

Bmore on August 26, 2014 at 11:09 AM

Is it really any coincidence that radical islam has gone from running for the hills under Bush to coming increasing close to realizing their goal of taking over the middle east under Obama? This guy could not have done any more damage to the security of the Western World had he been actively working at every juncture to support these terrorists (hmm…). Obama is an absolute train wreck of a President.

billboy89 on August 26, 2014 at 11:11 AM

there is only 1 good thing about this. Eventually ISIS(and its allies) will control all of the mideast. Makes it easy to pick bombing targets. Sigh!

gerrym51 on August 26, 2014 at 11:11 AM

Egypt is surrounded.

faraway on August 26, 2014 at 11:18 AM

Thank God that Egypt, against obama’s wishes, got rid of the muzzie brotherhood. They, via Turkey, supply ISIS.

Schadenfreude on August 26, 2014 at 11:20 AM

HISTORY LESSON:
There is a town by the sea in North Eastern Libya that was known for years for recriting Jihadists to go to Iraq and Afghanistan to KILL AMERICANS. THESE same Islamic Extremists are the very people Obama ordered our military to help kill Qadaffi and take over Libya. Obama and Hillary HIRED an Al Qaeda-associated militia to ‘protect’ our US Ambassador in Benghazi…and then went AWOL the night Al Qaeda ‘bit the hand that fed them’ by Killing Ambassador Stevens and 3 other Americans. Before this final attack happened Stephens was already sending messages to the State Department telling them how Al Qaeda flags were ‘now’ (9/08/2012) flying over Libyan Government buildings. Al Qaeda was already taking over the government in 2012! Al Qaeda taking over all of Libya completes Obama’s efforts to help another Terrorist organization take over their own country.

President Bush declared after 9/11/01 the United States would not allow any terrorist organization have a ‘Safe Haven’ anywhere in the world. Under Bush America hunted terrorists down and killed them, eradicating them where we found them, in Iraq & Afghanistan. President Obama has done the complete opposite. Under Obama, America has nt eradicated terroist hiding places / safe havens — America has helped terrorists take over their own COUNTRIES! Egypt – The Muslim Brotherhood…Libya – Al Qaeda…Syria/Iraq – ISIS… Obama LOVES to proclaim ‘Usama Bin Ladden is Dead’, that he is responsible for his death…but the fact is that Terrorists around the globe are greater in number, greater in power, and a larger threat than possibly even before 9/11/01! Terroists have their own COUNTRIES, they have eiminated the border between Iraq and Syria, attempting to make 1 massive Islamic Caliphate/Nation from which to spread throughout the world. OBAMA HAS BEEN A TERRORIST’S BEST FRIEND!

easyt65 on August 26, 2014 at 11:22 AM

Going to war and not finishing the job wastes lives to no good end, and can even make matters worse.

That is why you do not go to bomb the hell out of dictators just because they are dictators.

Republics and representative democracy are NOT the base state of mankind: they are things created by people with a purpose and reason behind them.

Do not think that deposing a dictator gets you a republic and representative democracy as it does not. Libya and the entire Arab Spring points this out to be the case.

Elites will not learn these lessons and so repeat the mistakes endlessly.

ajacksonian on August 26, 2014 at 11:27 AM

Deposing a brutal dictator, claiming a victory for Democracy, while watching the islamists that dictator had kept at bay quickly take over the country? Weird, that sounds sort of familiar…
 
libfreeordie on August 26, 2014 at 8:51 AM

 
Similar to demonstrating your personal approval of those actions with your vote in 2012.

rogerb on August 26, 2014 at 11:27 AM

‘I built that!’ – Barack Obama

Resist We Much on August 26, 2014 at 11:51 AM

Fu**ing liar that you are – I’ll complete it for you.

Deposing a brutal dictator, claiming a victory for Democracy (leaving Iraq/obama, diddling while ISIS formed and the convoys left Syria, golfing, analyzing, lying over and over, and still) while watching the islamists that dictator had kept at bay quickly take over the country? Weird, that sounds sort of familiar…

libfreeordie on August 26, 2014 at 8:51 AM

You swine, be accurate.

Schadenfreude on August 26, 2014 at 11:59 AM

Should have never removed Gaddafi.

Islamic barbarians are best ruled by a dictator.

weedisgood on August 26, 2014 at 12:28 PM

Let them kill each other.
If they leave their borders nuke’m.

Bubba Redneck on August 26, 2014 at 1:18 PM

the islamists that dictator had kept at bay

libfreeordie on August 26, 2014 at 8:51 AM

Liberals 15 years ago: “It’s evil to support dictators overseas.”
Liberals today: “It’s good to support dictators overseas.”

corkie on August 26, 2014 at 1:50 PM

President No Direction’s ideology sure has some dire consequences…

… Why isn’t anyone pointing that out?

Seven Percent Solution on August 26, 2014 at 2:11 PM

President No Direction’s ideology sure has some dire consequences…

… Why isn’t anyone pointing that out?

Seven Percent Solution on August 26, 2014 at 2:11 PM

This is the problem I have with people who think savages acting up is somehow a result American policy.
Islam is the problem. American policy will make no difference

weedisgood on August 26, 2014 at 2:28 PM

There a lot more of these, from around the world, and through the years since various radical Islamic terror groups began their jihad. There really is a huge difference between Muslims and the radicals. It’s a shame that these kind of accounts that show this difference don’t get the attention they deserve.

After the 9/11 attacks, which near literally happened in my backyard, I was as anti-Islam as anyone could be. The only good Muslim was a dead one…something it took me quite awhile to truly reconsider.

JetBoy on August 25, 2014 at 7:56 PM

Others gave rather short answers.

I just need one word: taqiyya.

Yes, they are lying in order to advance their cause until they have power to act like ISIS. That is what Islam demands.

makattak on August 26, 2014 at 4:18 PM

Resist We Much on August 26, 2014 at 11:52 AM

Sobering stuff.

Cleombrotus on August 26, 2014 at 7:16 PM

Let the good times roll!

racquetballer on August 26, 2014 at 9:04 PM

Kosovo you say? How in the world did there ever come to be a radical terrorist stronghold in Europe of all places? Quick, someone go ask McCain what America should do about this.

Buddahpundit on August 26, 2014 at 10:13 PM

Comment pages: 1 2