In his presidential speech to the nation, Obama defended American use of military force as part of the coalition to protect Libyan civilians, yet as Vanity Fair fittingly described, Obama’s Speech on Libya Leaves Big Questions Unanswered, amounting to “an oddly belated effort to explain the obvious.” A pertinent question about Libya is this: what is the Western alliance backing?
According to analysts of the Combating Terrorism Center at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, the rebel forces opposing Gaddafi– and yes the same ones that America is backing– are comprised of young Al-Qaeda jihadists. Forget the premature liberal utopianism that peace, human rights and democracy as we know it, is on the horizon in the turbulent Middle East.
Most analysts are hailing the wave of pro-democracy movements in the Arab world as a boon for the Islamic Republic.Indeed, if Egypt can create a democratic model that combines political tolerance, economic prosperity and adept diplomacy, Iran’s model of intolerance, economic malaise and confrontation will hold little appeal in the Arab world.
Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon (also former Israeli ambassador to the United States and foreign policy advisor to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu) had more realistic thoughts about the Middle East uprisings:
The fear is that they will be hijacked, (following the) the model of Iran, the model of Hamas in Gaza, the model of Hezbollah in Lebanon.
The region is crawling with Islamists—from the most violent to the so-called moderate adherents to the Muslim Brotherhood, the latter being confused with democratic freedom fighters by misinformed Westerners.
Take Libya for example where Darnah is one of the most significant towns in the east for the Islamist uprising against Gadaffi. Its defenses are being led by rebel Abdul-Hakim al-Hasadi,who admitted to fighting against American forces in Afghanistan and also to recruiting Libyans to fight against American forces in Iraq.
According to the French daily newspapaer Le Figaro, al-Hasadi is not only described as the “voice of Libya’s Islamists” but he also holds so much power that any transitional government must pass his approval. America’s enemies are bountiful with a dithering administration at the helm during a trying time for even the most decisive.
Barack Obama rose to prominence as a ferocious opponent of the war in Iraq. With barely any objection from either the left or the right, he is now deploying American military power to support some of the very same forces — in all likelihood some of the very same fighters — who were just recently fighting and killing American troops in Iraq.
A quick glance back will remind us that the Taliban swiftly emerged as a so-called reformist force from the Mujahideen warriors that fought the Soviets in the late 90s. Its founder Mullah Mohammad Umar served as a Mujahideen warrior before advancing to create his own fundamentalist ‘vision’ for Afghanistan, the current menace America faces at war. While we cheer the fall of tyrants in the Middle East there is no predictability on who or what will replace them at this stage. With the powerful Islamist influence, this vacuum is ominous and brings with it potential complications to Western interests, particularly with America governed by a vacillating president who needs to focus more on the menace of Iran, while showing greater support for Israel.