Friday, August 17, 2012

Paving the road to Hell in Africa.

"Liberating" Libya might have made many of us feel better here in the US, but it was the apotheosis of Do Gooderism run amok. Our good intentions have paved the road to Hell for northern Africa.

  • Qaddafi agreed to give ups his chemical WMDs in return for American support. Obama welshed on that agreement for global meliorist reasons. In so doing, he made it much less likely that dictators will trust the US going forward when we ask them to put down their swords. 
  • The stockpile of weapons Qaddafi still had at the time of his demise has fallen into the hands of radical Muslims, including al Qaeda.
  • This led directly to the complete destabilization of Mali, by arming radical Islamist factions in the country who were otherwise kept in check. Now one of the few bright spots for democratic rule in Africa is gone.
  • Now Niger finds itself as the next domino in line to tumble. 
How many countries will fall as a result of our heedless act of Do Gooderism? The best that can be said about this experience is that Obama seems to have learned the lesson of how Do Gooderism can unleash hellish unintended consequences, as evidenced by his refusal to similarly intervene in Syria.

Of course, this is all besides the fact that Obama set a dangerous precedent by ignoring the War Powers Act in order to prosecute the war in Libya. What incentives do future presidents have to respect that limit on their foreign policy powers now that Obama has shown you can cross that line and not be held to account?

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