Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Devil You Know Is Better Than The Devil You Don't

Before you get all warm and fuzzy about these "rebels", maybe you should understand that this isn't necessarily a "good guys" vs. "bad guys" scenario. As is so often in this region, it's more like a "lesser of evils" situation and we may will be using our military to make matters worse, not better.

I never wanted to see us involved in this Libya mess in the first place. Sure, Qaddafi is a bad actor of the first order, but at least Libya wasn't a Muslim theocracy. This revolutionary activity throughout the Middle East is presenting al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood with a sparkling opportunity to get its claws in major Middle Eastern countries. To wit:

Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi, the Libyan rebel leader, has said jihadists who fought against allied troops in Iraq are on the front lines of the battle against Muammar Gaddafi's regime.

In an interview with the Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore, Mr al-Hasidi admitted that he had recruited "around 25" men from the Derna area in eastern Libya to fight against coalition troops in Iraq. Some of them, he said, are "today are on the front lines in Adjabiya".

Mr al-Hasidi insisted his fighters "are patriots and good Muslims, not terrorists," but added that the "members of al-Qaeda are also good Muslims and are fighting against the invader".

His revelations came even as Idriss Deby Itno, Chad's president, said al-Qaeda had managed to pillage military arsenals in the Libyan rebel zone and acquired arms, "including surface-to-air missiles, which were then smuggled into their sanctuaries".

Mr al-Hasidi admitted he had earlier fought against "the foreign invasion" in Afghanistan, before being "captured in 2002 in Peshwar, in Pakistan". He was later handed over to the US, and then held in Libya before being released in 2008.

US and British government sources said Mr al-Hasidi was a member of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, or LIFG, which killed dozens of Libyan troops in guerrilla attacks around Derna and Benghazi in 1995 and 1996.

Even though the LIFG is not part of the al-Qaeda organisation, the United States military's West Point academy has said the two share an "increasingly co-operative relationship". In 2007, documents captured by allied forces from the town of Sinjar, showed LIFG emmbers made up the second-largest cohort of foreign fighters in Iraq, after Saudi Arabia.

Earlier this month, al-Qaeda issued a call for supporters to back the Libyan rebellion, which it said would lead to the imposition of "the stage of Islam" in the country.

British Islamists have also backed the rebellion, with the former head of the banned al-Muhajiroun proclaiming that the call for "Islam, the Shariah and jihad from Libya" had "shaken the enemies of Islam and the Muslims more than the tsunami that Allah sent against their friends, the Japanese".
Yemen, Syria, Tunisia and Egypt are all in a state of political unrest and you can bet that Muslim theocrats are not only eying them with hungry eyes, but may well be fomenting this unrest so they can pick up the peices. They would like nothing more than to remold all of these counties in the image of Iran and, unfortunately, we are aiding and abetting them by eliminating Libya's military. Quite accommodating of us, no?

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