May 14, 2012 · 0 Comments
By Glenn Greenwald:
…In The New York Times Sunday Magazine, Robert Worth has a long and superbly reported article on the rampant torture, lawlessness, arbitrary detentions, vengeance “justice”, and militia rule plaguing Libya — more than six months after the killing of Moammar Ghadaffi (he also notes some isolated flashes of human decency in the midst of the horrors). A couple of days ago, the NYT reported on an attack on the prime minister’s headquarters and said this:
Truckloads of armed men attacked the Tripoli headquarters of Libya’s interim prime minister on Tuesday, in a new demonstration of the lawlessness pervading the capital just weeks before a scheduled national election. . . . Security in the capital is negligible, and gunfights between armed groups from rival neighborhoods or towns are a frequent occurrence in its streets. . . .
“You know that security here is a big joke,” Fathi Baja, a council member, said at the time. With an antiaircraft gun mounted on a pickup truck, he said, “you can do whatever you want — nobody can stop you.”
Obviously, one of the lessons from the attack on Iraq was that if foreign nations use military force to remove a long-standing despot and then fail to stabilize the country, it will be followed by extreme levels of violence, lawlessness, chaos, brutality and militia rule. That is precisely what is happening in Libya, and has been happening there for almost a year now.
As I wrote from the start of the proposed intervention, one cannot say that things have improved for Libyans by the mere killing of Gadaffi without knowing what replaces his rule (those who declared victory based solely on Gadaffi’s death were guilty of succumbing to the adolescent, Hollywood-manufactured tendency to view the supreme foreign goal as killing the “bad guys”; Chris Hayes wrote about that mentality a year ago). It’s still possible, of course, that the situation in Libya can improve, but it’s been fairly infuriating to watch the loudest advocates of the intervention, who flamboyantly claimed vindication upon Gadaffi’s death, simply ignore the aftermath. For obvious reasons, that conspicuous indifference seriously calls into question the role that “humanitarianism” actually played here.
Read full post at: Glenn Greenwald – Salon.com.