If Colonel Muammar Gaddafi isn’t already dead, he soon will be. To which I say good riddance.
But let’s not uncork the champagne bottles just yet. It is far from certain that a post-Gaddafi Libya will be any better off and if it is any better off it will be a very long time before we can arrive at that conclusion. Then there is the question of Libyan rebel links to al Qaeda.
In an interview with an Italian newspaper this past spring, Libyan rebel commander Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi admitted to recruiting at least two dozen men who had fought against U.S. and coalition troops in Iraq. It is also worth noting that al-Hasidi himself fought against U.S. and coalition troops in Afghanistan before being captured in Pakistan and turned over to the U.S. who subsequently returned him to Libya. For its part, Libya released al-Hasidi in 2008 as part of “a reconciliation process with Islamists.” Well, so much for reconciliation. Amongst the other Islamists released was Sufyan Ben Qumu, who like al-Hasidi was captured in Pakistan but unlike al-Hasidi spent six years in Guantanamo Bay. Qumu played a prominent role in training the Libyan rebels.
John Guardiano makes the case that the fall of Gaddafi “strengthens America’s image in the Islamic world.” I doubt that very much. The Islamic world hates America as much today as it did yesterday and will still hate us ten years from now. Does anyone honestly think jihadists fought to overthrow Gaddafi to replace it with a secular state? This isn’t to say that jihadists won’t accept our help. They’re perfectly fine if NATO air power can help bring about an Islamic fundamentalist state in Libya. Just don’t expect them to show any gratitude for it.
Osama bin Laden might be dead but his 1996 fatwa and 1998 fatwa against America still stand. Killing Americans and our allies be they civilian or military “is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it.” The worst case scenario would be if another terrorist attack on the scale of 9/11 were to take place in the United States and if the people responsible for planning, financing and/or carrying it out were harbored in Libya.