The canned introduction to Charlotte Alfred’s very good roundup of Libya news at the Huffington Post declares the purpose of the column to be spotlighting “one overlooked aspect of the stories that made news in recent days.” The story of what is happening in post-Obama, post-Clinton Libya isn’t “overlooked” — it is being deliberately, aggressively ignored.
Her adoring media would not want to trouble Mrs. Clinton’s big campaign relaunch this weekend by dwelling on the incredible foreign policy disaster she inflicted upon the world, now would it?
Libya is more Hillary Clinton’s disaster than Barack Obama’s, although that does not let him off the hook for agreeing to her push for intervention. Neither of them had the faintest, foggiest clue what to do with the ruins of the country after Moammar Qaddafi was ousted. They relied heavily on friendly American media losing interest in the story the instant the White House was finished taking a victory lap. The Benghazi disaster came out of nowhere because our attention had been so completely shifted elsewhere; few Americans realized the country was tottering on the verge of collapse, and Benghazi was a terrorist beehive ready to explode on the anniversary of 9/11.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama did know, or would have, if they paid attention to their security briefings. They ended up spending most of their time covering up what happened, deflecting questions about why they were so completely unprepared for it, and peddling a 100 percent false narrative about a “spontaneous video protest,” which we now know Clinton got from the operative she was keeping fed and watered at her fake charity foundation, Sid Blumenthal.
The terrorists and warlords infesting Libya did not, of course, give a hoot about Clinton and Obama’s spin. They continued on their merry way, creating a war-torn wasteland ripe for an ISIS invasion, after Obama’s negligence allowed the group he once carelessly dismissed as a non-factor to metastasize into a trans-border “caliphate” currently making hash of Obama’s strategies in Syria and Iraq. They are big in Libya, too, and history will record it as one of the most amazing failures of biased media that only a few alternative outlets have made a big deal about it, until now.
Now it is getting hard to ignore. The Huffington Post notes, as reported long ago by Breitbart News, that ISIS has taken control of Qaddafi’s hometown of Sirte and has begun expanding its influence from that base of operations, striking airports, power plants, and oilfields. Those oil attacks have done immense damage to Libya’s already fragile economy, with production down to less than a third of its Qaddafi-era levels. Control of the Sirte airport is allowing ISIS to build a supply line from its strongholds in Syria and Iraq to Libya.
The HuffPo in turn quotes Riccardo Fabiani, senior North Africa analyst at the Eurasia Group, telling Bloomberg News it has become clear ISIS is “getting more structure and their control of this region is getting more serious,” with a real danger they can “overrun” and severely damage the strategically vital city of Ras Lanuf, Libya’s third-largest export terminal.
What is truly alarming about the state of play in Libya is that ISIS views it as such a growth opportunity that they are diverting fighters away from Syria and into Libya. They have been telling allied militant groups in Libya to keep their fighters on home turf to assist in operations there. That says something awful about ISIS’s view of the strategic situation in Syria, too, doesn’t it?
As in Syria, some of the forces battling ISIS are themselves noxious Islamist gangs, including our old chums in al-Qaeda, who are suddenly the lesser of two evils. As the usual beheadings and other mayhem mount in ISIS’s wake, the al-Qaeda types are pronouncing themselves disgusted with the Islamic State’s depredations and declaring war on it.
But do not get your hopes up for an inter-villain cage match to erase darkness from Libya and leave something that can develop into a functional nation-state. ISIS is not the only group hoping to profit from chaos in Libya, which Alfred describes as “hurtling towards disaster.” Actually, it sounds like it has hurtled past disaster and is bearing down on Armageddon.
“Earlier this week, politicians rejected the latest peace proposal from the United Nations,” she writes. “Officials warn Libya is nearing bankruptcy as the fighting has shut down the country’s oil and gas industry.” Militants are rejecting those peace proposals, because they’re not interested in making peace with each other, and ISIS is more than happy to move into the bloody vacuum of stability.
And they are not stopping with Libya. Intelligence sources told Fox News that ISIS is using Libya “as an ‘entry point’ into Europe,” with at least thirty ISIS fighters intercepted by Italian authorities in recent weeks, mixed into the ungodly tidal wave of refugees pouring across the Mediterranean.
“There is no way you can block it,” an intel source told Fox News. “Libya is now an easy entry point into the E.U. and ultimately into the U.S. for ISIS. They are saying, this is the way to America.”
Oil and drug money are flowing from Libya into the ISIS war machine, the latter income stream generated by the huge drug problem Libya has developed, including the sale of South American heroin. Apparently there are so many ISIS terrorists swarming through Libya that even the hapless Libyan central government has been able to capture a few of them.
“This administration continues to deny reality and fails to adequately convey to the American people the severity of the security situation throughout the Middle East and the resulting threats America faces,” Fox quotes Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee chair Ron Johnson fuming.
Barack Obama made this. Hillary Clinton made this. Neither of them has a clue how to stop it. Their primary interest is making sure Americans don’t think about it, at least not until the next election is past.