Monday, August 29, 2011

Barry Rubin: Trying to Manage the Post-Qadhafi Libya While Qadhafi is Still Around

Blogged from my Android

By Barry Rubin

The United States has recognized the Transitional National Council (TNC) of Libya as the provisional government of that country. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns addressed the Libyan Contact Group meeting–where else?–in Turkey, the Obama Administration's favorite Middle East mediator despite that regime being a pro-Iran Islamist government that is turning Turkey into a police state. Turkey as a role model for the Arab world, anyone?...

Precisely because Burns, a serious professional diplomat, has stated the problems so well, I'm skeptical. For rebel commanders, the TNC is a bunch of corrupt guys with expensive suits, many of whom worked with the dictator, Muammar al-Qadhafi, in an oppressive dictatorship, and lived luxuriously abroad while the rebels were fighting and dying (and looting and burning, too). The rebels are undisciplined; there's no chain of command; and the tribes in many cases hate each other. Burns describes a utopian situation that I think has very little to do with the reality of Libya.

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