Libya and the United States – The World Is Watching You


Libyan Rebels in Ras Lanuf

Libyan Rebels in Ras Lanuf

The Obama administration has faced massive world crisis over the past couple months.  Not only is the administration tackling the countries deep economic issues, they’re facing massive unrest in the Middle East, and now, trying to provide nuclear knowledge, supplies and other support to the Japanese after their devastating earthquake and tsunami.

Over the past two weeks, however, America’s position on the unrest in Libya seems to have taken center stage.  If we jumped in Cowboy style, the U.S. would be faced with more devastating military expenditures for the next several years, and Ghadafi could easily sway arab sentiment back to  seeing America as “meddling” in Arab affairs.  If we stayed out of the situation, we’d be criticized around the world for not supporting democracy when it’s begging at our doorstep.

Today, President Obama showed his international leadership during a nationally televised speech where he outlined an intervention planned created cooperatively with European and Arab nations.  By developing international support for and enforcement of a no-fly zone over Libya and military response if Libyan aggression against its citizens continues, President Obama has likely embarked on the best bang for our buck in stabilizing the situation in Libya.

If successful, this will help stabilize our markets which have oscillated at break-neck speed, and it should reverse some of big oil’s price hikes they punished Americans with due to the “threat” of oil supply disruption which hasn’t really happened.  Also, if successful, other countries will continue to support the effort to ensure continued success.  If it’s not successful, it will not be the U.S. caught holding the bag with other countries distancing themselves from us, and the U.S. won’t be footing the bill for another quagmire.  All participating countries will scramble to improve the situation alongside the U.S.

This is good diplomacy, and it’s good economic sense for our country.

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5 Comments

Filed under International Politics & Economy, Middle East

5 responses to “Libya and the United States – The World Is Watching You

  1. Finally, we seem to be getting it right. Joining with other nations, not only will we have greater chance of success in reaching the objective (toppling the Libyan dictator) but sharing the cost will be less of a drain on our Treasury. Too bad we didn’t move faster.

  2. the world’s forgotten Libya for the moment now that Obama’s claimed to have gotten OBL (I won’t believe it till they show footage).

    And now that the fodder for newspapers have effectively shifted from Libya to Pakistan, they can do as they like with Libya until Gaddafi is taken down or whatever their plan is.

    • Thank you for your thoughts on Libya. I appreciate the discussion. On the OBL subtopic you brought up, please keep in mind that Al Qaeda also confirmed OBL’s death. Any photos or video can be doctored, so I guess I wouldn’t rely on that for proof.

      I don’t agree the world has forgotten Libya. I’m wondering how you came to think so. It’s still in the daily US news, and because NATO is the primary driver there now, it’s also in daily news across Europe. Additionally, the US senate has now passed bipartisan support for limited operations in Libya per this NPR article.

      I greatly anticipate the affect on the region upcoming elections in Egypt will have. I hope Ghadafi will be gone by that time, and Libyan representatives will be able to learn from the process followed in Egypt and Tunisia. It’s important the fight in Libya does not drag on a long time.

      Regardless whether you still believe the world has forgotten Libya, would you offer a forecast on Libya’s future over the next 12 months?

  3. Oh, I’m no expert on politics and the last person to give any sort of forecast! Whatever opinions I have is based on how I see things happening around me and from the effect I see in the economy.
    I live in the UAE (in Dxb) and the company I work does a lot of work all around the Middle East. I’ve actually even traveled to Egypt for work, and even then (2009) I’d seen the stark disparity between the classes. There is the super-rich on one side and then on the other end was the absolute poor. There was no strong middle-class and the rich just got richer under Hosni Mubarak’s rule. It worked well for my clients as they were all rich. But what about the others? That’s what started the revolution, and of course you know all this.
    And it is remarkable how the country has progressed from that so quickly and how business is once again happening at a steady pace.

    But I’m afraid that in Libya, without a clear leader figure to take over Ghaddafi’s rule, it will become like another Iran after their revolution and not like Egypt.
    Abt OBL dying, there are rumours going around that he died in 2004! So it’s difficult to know what to believe and what not to.

    I only said Libya is being neglected cos the focus has now shifted to Pakistan and what is happening there. I follow The Telegraph and Time and BBC on twitter, and the feeds have been more about Pakistan and OBL’s alleged porn collection than about Libya.

    In the Middle East of course… the papers talk about all countries, Egypt, Libya, Syria.. even how Kuwait barred visas to Pakistani passport holders is front page news here. Cos obviously, it affects us more.

    • Sanjana, I agree the OBL porn issue was an unfortunate digression. I suppose media’s point was to point out an OBL hypocrisy. I suppose that is a worthwhile side-point to make briefly, but not a focal point. Luckily, that discussion had a short life here.

      I also share your concerns regarding who would lead Libya post-Gadhafi. Egypt and Tunisia had many more people in government with international education and open diplomatic experience than Libya. That said, it only takes a pool of 1-3 strong leaders for voters to choose from in democratic Presidential elections, or whatever form of representative government they choose. Libya hasn’t been isolated over the past decade, and the country has been active across Africa, so I don’t believe there is a true leadership vacuum.

      Of course, there are many other leadership positions to fill, but I believe there will be large international support for a democratically elected Libyan government, and there will be a lot of sharing/learning with other nearby countries, like Egypt and Tunisia, which I hope will bolster the success of all future governments in the region. In short, I expect future Libyan leaders will receive guidance from any successful leaders around the world who they trust and choose to consult.

      My sincere hope is the people will have a true voice in their governments through their votes, and their governments choose to grow a middle-class with buying power to grow their economies. There is a dwindling middle-class in this country (U.S.), and the transfer of annual GDP from the middle-class to the top 1% in our country means there are fewer people able to afford U.S. goods and services. All nations are better off economically with a strong middle-class as opposed to the stark contrast between the rich and the rest of the population you witnessed in Egypt.

      If you would like, I’d welcome occasional follow-up from you over the coming months with your regional perspective from Dubai on Libya, Yemen, etc. This is truly fascinating, and I know we all want the best for people across the Middle East. Thanks again for your comments.

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