Erick Stakelbeck posted a story on his blog entitled, “Why You Should Care About Libya.” I will admit that I never understood the need to remove Muammar Gaddafi after he began cooperating with the west in the War on Terror. If you remember, as a result of the American invasion of Iraq, in December 2003, Libya renounced its possession of weapons of mass destruction, decommissioning its chemical and nuclear weapons programs. At that point Libya’s relationship with the United States improved and seemed to be moving in a positive direction. Admittedly, his civil rights record was questionable at best, but it was no worse than any government that has followed him.
So why should I care about Libya?
The article explains:
While the West’s attention is focused on ISIS’s rampage through Iraq and Syria, Libya is fast becoming one of the world’s most dangerous and unstable countries–a hotbed of ISIS and Al Qaeda activity and ravaged by civil war. ISIS now wields a major presence in the Libyan cities of Sirte (where it recently seized a civilian airport) and Derna (where it has been battling other jihadist groups for supremacy) along the Mediterranean coast and is making further moves elsewhere in the country.
ISIS has also wasted no time extending its genocide against the Christians of Iraq and Syria to the shores of North Africa. In February, ISIS released a horrific video showing its jihadists beheading 21 Egyptian Christians on a Libyan beach. It issued a similar video in April showing the beheading and shooting of over a dozen Ethiopian Christians in Libya. And just last week, ISIS reportedly kidnapped 88 more Christians–this time, Eritreans–who were refugees traveling through Libya. These Eritrean Christians’ outlook for survival is obviously grim.
So why should you care about ISIS’s advances in Libya? For starters, Libya is rapidly becoming a terrorist safe haven–the kind of place where jihadists can train freely and plot attacks against the United States (see: pre-9/11 Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, and the ISIS-held territories of Iraq and Syria). That’s bad enough. Worse still is Libya’s geographic proximity to Europe–it lies just 600 miles across the Mediterranean from Italy. And according to a recent Fox News report, ISIS is wasting no time using its Libya strongholds to transit into Europe:
“Refugees” have been pouring into Europe from Libya. In recent weeks, the Italians have picked up at least thirty ISIS fighters who have come into Italy from Libya. This is a threat to Europe and eventually to America.
So what was the regime change in Libya about? What was the Arab Spring really about? In his book Catastrophic Failure, Stephen Coughlin examines the timeline of the Arab Spring. He cites a Der Spiegel article explaining the goal of Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood to bring about the collapse of the Arab governments that were not based on Islamic Law. America, unfortunately, came down on the wrong side of history in the Arab Spring and simply strengthened Al Qaeda and helped bring chaos to the Middle East.
The Egyptian government has moved against the Muslim Brotherhood, sentencing many of its members to death, including former President Mohammed Morsi. Again, the civil rights record of the new Egyptian government is not good, but they have restored order and are eliminating the threat of the Muslim Brotherhood to Egypt. American needs to wake up to the threat the Muslim Brotherhood is to America. I strongly recommend reading “An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America,” by the Muslim Brotherhood operative Mohamed Akram. This is one of the government exhibits from the Holy Land Foundation Trial. You can find more information at Discover the Networks.
There are many lessons we can learn from Libya and many reasons why Libya matters.