There’s no one writing about the Arab so-called “Spring” on whose judgment I rely more than on Daniel Pipes. So when he posted today on NRO on “Libyan Blues,” I took note:
The NATO intervention in March 2011 was done without due diligence as to who it was in Benghazi that it was helping. To this day, their identity is a mystery. Chances are good that Islamist forces are hiding behind more benign elements, waiting for the right moment to pounce, as roughly happened in Iran in 1978–79, when Islamists did not make clear their strength nor their program until the shah was well disposed of. Should that be the case in Libya today, then the miserable Qaddafi will prove to be better than his successors for both the Libyan subjects of tyranny and the West.
Dr. Pipes isn’t celebrating, yet, and neither am I. PJM’s Barry Rubin is equally unclear about what comes next and whether it will be an improvement. There is such a thing as the devil one knows. Qaddafi, a ghoulish, evil despot we knew, and had even — to a small degree — tamed, in terms of his nuclear ambitions. But his opponents? The ones on whose side our nation and its NATO allies intervened? No one knows. Because no one in Washington has performed due diligence.
Obama’s “leading from behind” into his “a few days” of war in Libya may well be one reason that Rasmussen is reporting today than only 12 percent of likely U.S. voters believe our country should become more directly involved with Syria.
And all the while, Iran’s deadly, Holocaust-denying dictator, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, meets with Russians in Tehran to discuss Russian assistance in Iranian nuclear plans:
“Iran welcomes Russia’s step-by-step proposal and is ready to make suggestions to cooperate,” he [Ahmadinejad] said in a meeting with Russia’s visiting National Security Council secretary Nikolai Patrushev, quoted on the presidency website.
There has been no sign that either Obama or his Secretary of State is paying the slightest attention to events in Tehran. Why not just play golf or globe-trot?
Update: Also read Barry Rubin’s take on Libya.