On Tuesday, The New York Times ran as its feature op-ed a story titled “The New Danger in Benghazi.“
Author Ethan Chorin wrote of a Libyan general by the name of Khalifa Haftar who is mounting an offensive against radical Islamist groups in Libya. Fearing the Libyan parliament had been overrun by Muslim Brotherhood- and Al Qaeda-backed groups, Haftar took matters into his own hands – forming an alliance with his anti-Islamist countrymen to counter the dangerous influences in the North African state.
The NYT writer, reporting on the events unfolding in Libya eight days after Breitbart (which is approximately equivalent to an eternity in the 24-hour news cycle), said of the recent events:
Forget the endless obsession with assigning blame for the attack in 2012 on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi. The United States has another large problem on its hands right now in Libya. Khalifa Hifter, a former Libyan general who is now an American citizen, is mounting what could be a de facto coup, with far-reaching consequences for Libya and the United States.
Shockingly, Chorin sees the offensive to counter the Islamists running Libya as a serious problem for the United States’s interests. Rationalizing Chorin’s sentiments may become difficult after realizing that Haftar, after all, is fighting groups that are so dangerous their affiliates have been designated as terrorist groups both in Muslim-majority states Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
With the help of his countrymen, Khalifa is taking on America’s ideological enemies. The Islamist radical groups in Libya include Ansar al-Sharia, the Al Qaeda-affiliated group largely responsible for the September 11, 2012 attack on the American Consulate in Benghazi that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.
To the author’s credit, Chorin recognizes Haftar as the only person who may be able to lead a “fight against extremists in Benghazi.” However, he tables the comment by mentioning, “That said, Libya’s democratic process must survive.”