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Because Libya Worked Out So Well….

Tomahawk missile launched Libya

Tomahawk missile launched over Libya

The more we learn about President Obama’s strategy for Syria the more it sounds almost exactly like his previous war plan in Libya. The basic idea is to use a combination of heavy airstrikes, limited assets on the ground, training/arming/aiding “moderate” rebels with the help of other countries in the Middle East, and working against the current dictator.

It is then worth looking to see how well that has turned out in Libya long term. Yesterday the top U.N. official in Libya said “a faltering political process that has brought the country closer to the brink of protracted conflict and civil strife.” He also reported that recent shelling in Tripoli has resulted in many civilians losing their lives and tens of thousands fleeing their homes. The country is in the midst of a civil war and Tunsia has practically been overwhelmed with refugees in the past few years.

In additional the U.N. previously concluded that the war in Libya helped fuel the violence in Mali and Syria when weapons used in the war flooded in to neighboring areas.

Libya is in very bad shape as groups fight over power, tribal allegiances and ideology.

Apparently, though, we are expected to believe this same strategy will work much better in Syria — which in addition to have many armed groups with tribal and ideological differences also has centuries-old sectarian divides.

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Because Libya Worked Out So Well….

Tomahawk missile launched Libya

Tomahawk missile launched over Libya

The more we learn about President Obama’s strategy for Syria the more it sounds almost exactly like his previous war plan in Libya. The basic idea is to use a combination of heavy airstrikes, limited assets on the ground, training/arming/aiding “moderate” rebels with the help of other countries in the Middle East, and working against the current dictator.

It is then worth looking to see how well that has turned out in Libya long term. Yesterday the top U.N. official in Libya said “a faltering political process that has brought the country closer to the brink of protracted conflict and civil strife.” He also reported that recent shelling in Tripoli has resulted in many civilians losing their lives and tens of thousands fleeing their homes. The country is in the midst of a civil war and Tunsia has practically been overwhelmed with refugees in the past few years.

In additional the U.N. previously concluded that the war in Libya helped fuel the violence in Mali and Syria when weapons used in the war flooded in to neighboring areas.

Libya is in very bad shape as groups fight over power, tribal allegiances and ideology.

Apparently, though, we are expected to believe this same strategy will work much better in Syria — which in addition to have many armed groups with tribal and ideological differences also has centuries-old sectarian divides. (more…)

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Firedoglake.com. Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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