The NATO attack on Libya was a war crime, and naturally the U.S. Government was expected to join in. Barack Obama did not disappoint anyone. We overthrew Libya’s government by supporting Jihadists who are still tearing the country apart. It was a disgusting act of aggression, not merely against Gaddafi (who was not a good man), but against the people, and especially religious minorities, of Libya. They were left unprotected in a land of chaos.
So Thomas Friedman interviewed Barack Obama with the same objectivity one would expect from a report on a rock band by one of their groupies. Friedman wrote in the New York Times:
Obama made clear that he is only going to involve America more deeply in places like the Middle East to the extent that the different communities there agree to an inclusive politics of no victor/no vanquished. The United States is not going to be the air force of Iraqi Shiites or any other faction. Despite Western sanctions, he cautioned, President Vladimir Putin of Russia “could invade” Ukraine at any time, and, if he does, “trying to find our way back to a cooperative functioning relationship with Russia during the remainder of my term will be much more difficult.” Intervening in Libya to prevent a massacre was the right thing to do, Obama argued, but doing it without sufficient follow-up on the ground to manage Libya’s transition to more democratic politics is probably his biggest foreign policy regret.
So what did President Obama think was going to happen after the bombs stopped dropping? Many critics opposed this idiotic intervention precisely because it was obviously going to leave the country in chaos. None of the decision-makers cared. And the way they intervened was hardly “an inclusive politics of no victor/no vanquished.”
“I’ll give you an example of a lesson I had to learn that still has ramifications to this day,” said Obama. “And that is our participation in the coalition that overthrew Qaddafi in Libya. I absolutely believed that it was the right thing to do. … Had we not intervened, it’s likely that Libya would be Syria. ... And so there would be more death, more disruption, more destruction. But what is also true is that I think we [and] our European partners underestimated the need to come in full force if you’re going to do this. Then it’s the day after Qaddafi is gone, when everybody is feeling good and everybody is holding up posters saying, ‘Thank you, America.’ At that moment, there has to be a much more aggressive effort to rebuild societies that didn’t have any civic traditions. … So that’s a lesson that I now apply every time I ask the question, ‘Should we intervene, militarily? Do we have an answer [for] the day after?’ ”
Libya is Syria now, or worse. The President is pushing pretense on top of pretense. Barack Obama launched death and destruction on a country, according to his own confession, without any idea how to produce a stable and safe nation.