Treachery and Hypocrisy in Libya

Top Western achievements in Libya: stoking a revenge-fueled blood feud and entrenching North Korean and Iranian nuclear programs.

It should come as no surprise that the Libyan rebels have committed atrocities in towns they have captured. The Libyan civil war is nothing more than a tribal blood feud, stoked by hatreds, grievances and desires for revenge that go back decades if not longer. In such circumstances it is a fool's errand to determine which of the warring parties has right on its side. That the United States and NATO chose to interject themselves into this conflict is simply incomprehensible.

NATO's Libyan adventure is proving costly not merely in terms of human and material losses. Qaddafi’s successful achievement of what is effectively a stalemate to the conflict has seriously damaged the alliance's credibility. NATO has projected an image of disunity and inefficiency at best, incompetence at worst. It is hard to imagine that this was the alliance that faced down the Soviet Union.

Moreover, to many in the Arab and Muslim world, the Western attack on yet another Arab state smacks of nothing less than treachery and hypocrisy. After all, Qaddafi had cooperated with the West in the "war on terror." For that Washington, Paris and London rewarded him with drone attacks on his family. On the other hand, Bashar al-Assad's support for Hezbollah has earned him a free pass.

Finally, to underscore the fact that no good Libyan deed has gone unpunished, the Western attack has come only a few years after Qaddafi chose to terminate his attempt to obtain nuclear weapons. Iran and North Korea will surely take note. "What if," pundits in Pyongyang and Tehran surely are asking,"Qaddafi had possessed 'the bomb'? Would the West have dared to attack him?" What if, indeed.

NATO, aided, abetted and cheered on by Washington, clearly has achieved little and lost much. Surely it is time to terminate this mindless, costly and counterproductive exercise.