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Because Our Plan for “Success” in Syria Worked So Well in Libya

Tomahawk missile launched Libya

Tomahawk missile launched in Operation Odyssey Dawn

Our strategy in Syria is remarkably similar to our previous strategy in Libya. In both the idea is heavy international air strikes combined with arming and training local “moderate” rebels, but no ‘boots on the ground.’ So before we spend billions in Syria we should take a moment to see how well this basic plan worked in Libya.

Apparently, not well. Three years after our involvement the capital of Libya, Tripoli, is now so dangerous the parliament has been forced to fee. From the Washington Post:

In August, Libya’s parliament moved to Tobruk, with members saying they were facing a constant risk of violence in the capital. Dozens of politicians, journalists and activists in Tripoli have been arrested, kidnapped or killed, a trend that has only intensified since a loose alliance of mainly Islamist militias going under the name of Libya Dawn took control of most of the city several weeks ago.

This port city of 200,000 was little prepared for its new role as a strategic hub for those in retreat. There are only five hotels, so the authorities initially rented a Greek car ferry to house the overflow, while they tried to find more permanent accommodations.

The fact is that we have a really poor track record when it comes to bombing countries into stable democracies. That doesn’t seem to get enough attention.

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of 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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