[O]ne 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.
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