January 28, 2013

The West's Perverse Nostalgia for Gaddafi

Fouad Ajami, Newsweek

AP Photo

We were bound to come to it: a lament for the fall of Gaddafi. Mali had come apart, and there were "strategic analysts" bemoaning the demise of the Libyan dictatorship. Thousands of Malian Tuareg mercenaries enlisted by Gaddafi had returned to Mali with weaponry and little to do. In the Financial Times of Jan. 14, Gaddafi was described as the “West’s ally in the fight against jihadist groups.” Britain, France, and the United States should have spared him: he had kept the lid on disorder in the Sahara. To be sure, he had intended mass slaughter in Benghazi, but two years later, it was time to utter the impermissible: perhaps the West’s strategic interest would have been served by his iron grip on his country.

Read Full Article ››

TAGGED: Tuareg, Africa, Algeria, Mali, Egypt, Libya, Muammar Gaddafi


January 20, 2013
N. Africa Chaos Reveals Grim Side of Arab Spring
Robert Worth, NYT
In Mali, French paratroopers arrived this month to battle an advancing force of jihadi fighters who already control an area twice the size of Germany. In Algeria, a one-eyed Islamist bandit organized the brazen takeover of an... more ››
January 25, 2013
Algeria's Secretive 'War on Terror'
Alan Philps, The National
The terrible secrets of that war remain locked away, while a generous amnesty for rebels ensures they stay that way. But still the question remains: are the remnants of the jihadists still infiltrated by the security services?... more ››
January 20, 2013
Al-Qaeda the Least of Africa's Problems
Howard French, Foreign Policy
Pundits who bang on about the events in Mali on television today speculate glibly about the possible linkup of militant Islamic movements in places like Mauritania, Mali, Algeria, and northern Nigeria, potentially constituting a... more ››
January 22, 2013
Al-Qaeda Is on the Rise in Africa
John Bolton, New York Post
Accepting his party’s renomination for president on Sept. 6, Barack Obama boasted, “Al Qaeda is on the path to defeat, and Osama bin Laden is dead.” The crowd roared its approval. It’s now painfully clear that someone... more ››
January 22, 2013
West Must Tread Carefully in West Africa
Peter Jones, The Scotsman
The origins of the present conflict are, of course, much more complex than just an exodus of arms and, to some extent, trained mercenaries from Libya. That has served to amplify existing tensions. Although Algeria is closer to... more ››