Suckered In Libya?

Why have Arab / Muslim nations not stepped up to the challenges in Libya? When did Arab League wishes become Western Commands?

In the first case they knew Gaddafi would fight, resulting in the need to wage war on fellow Muslims and provide Gaddafi the opportunity to question their adherence to the faith.  There are, of course “special fatwa’s” providing justifications for problems of the moment.  The Prophet Mohammed changed his teachings based on the reality of circumstance.  As the Prophet lived “a life to be emulated in every way”, according to Islamic law and faith; it’s okay to flip positions; Mohammed did.

If not fight, why not the application of the full weight of Arab diplomacy or an Arab buy-out of the Gaddafi regime?  Or Arab threats to intervene?  Why not an Arab League delegation arriving in Tripoli to great fanfare; many hugs and kissing of cheeks?  Based on the absence of behaviors could Libya be little more than a convenient diversion.  If so, we’ve been suckered! 

A classic a no win situation as Syria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran and Saudi Arabia go about the business of extinguishing the competition and we are seen as attempting to selectively choose winners and losers.  The Arab street will view the fig leaf of NATO leadership and coalitions as nothing more than misdirection, intended to shield their belief in American intent to make war on the Muslim world.

By involving ourselves in Libya we have chosen one of five active conflicts as more important than the others: Yemen, Bahrain, Syria and, to a degree, Saudi Arabia.  A regime we support in Libya, assuming one comes into being that we find acceptable, is doomed to failure under the weight of Islamic paranoia about American intentions and influence.          

Confusion reigns when Muslims are on both sides of the equation: Iraq and Kuwait, Iraq and Iran, Kurds and Turks, internecine warfare amongst the Palestinians.  What to do, what to do?  Most confusing still is how Muslim-on-Muslim uprisings beginning with Tunisia so quickly became the regional norm with uprisings and demonstrations of some substance in seven Arab / Middle Eastern countries.  Reporting from Israel ponders the likelihood of a near term conflict with Hiz’bAllah as the rocket fire from Gaza comes ever closer to major population centers.     

The falling dominos of sequential uprisings are hard to explain.  Why now?  It’s not about democracy, democracy as we know it is impossible under Islamic law according to a broad range of Islamic scholars.  “Laws made by men” are easily cast aside as irrelevant in an Islamic context.  It is rule by religious interpretation of a doctrine essentially frozen in the 10th century.

Arabs who for years did not resist, now have a thirst for “freedom”?  Healthy skepticism should be the order of the day.

Is it about freedoms?  “Freedom” in this context may mean little more than which religious orientation within Islam prevails.  Keeping in mind that major sources of Islamic jurisprudence see what we consider subjugation of women in Islam as a manner of freedom for them.  We may use the same words, freedom chief among them; it is unlikely the word represents a mutually agreed upon meaning. 

Experts point to the Tunisian self immolation that motivated the uprising.  What of the Iranian example of 2009?  Should that not have created movement in the region?  Is it because the Iranians are Shiite and we need a Sunni Example.  Mohamed Bouazizi, the Tunisian who “sparked” the uprisings is also a Shiite; his statement was dramatic but so were the demonstrations in Iran.

What of the meeting in Iran last week with Supreme Leader Khamenei with Hiz’bAllah, Syria and the Muslim Brotherhood in attendance. (Reported by Michael Ledeen of FDD) Should we assume they were having tea or were they planning to take advantage of the “uprisings”?  According to Mr. Ledeen the meeting was to develop strategies for Somalia and Egypt; to turn them fully to an Islamic constitution followed by the application of political power.  The meeting specifically addressed the Brotherhood’s timing and tactics in Egypt.  It is also safe to assume the subject of Israel came up with Egypt as the fulcrum for essential encirclement of Israel.

Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) has emptied out weapons storage facilities in Libya which included surface to air missiles according to Idriss Deby Itno, the President of Chad. They are rightfully concerned with the scope of the weapons cache al Qaeda now has under its control and referred to al Qaeda as a genuine “army”. (Source; Jeune Afrique an African weekly publication)  Sorry, doesn’t sound like a freedom agenda; sounds like taking advantage of the chaos.  As each day goes by additional reporting of al Qaeda links to the Libyan insurgents grow.  Mali and Niger have verified the comments by the President of Chad and expressed similar concerns.

Here at home we are involved in government discussions related to provide arms to the insurgents in Libya according to Secretary Clinton.  Why not just send a weapons FedEx to bin Laden?