Exit Strategies

Libya and the Empire's Death Throes

Ding, Dong, the oppressive dictator is dead! And don't fret, Libyans, that civil order has been destroyed, for soon NATO will install wonderful “Democracy” in your homeland! ...

While my guess is that the American public couldn't care less about the recent toppling of the Gaddafi regime, if it's aware of it at all, the event has revealed, once again, the small, windowless box in which the commentariat reside.

  • A left-liberal professor, who from 2003-2008 defined the anti-war blogosphere, is solemnly quoting Niebuhr as he openly supports Obama's NATO intervention and the rebellion.

  • It took Washington and NATO an embarrassing five months to topple the regime of a colorful tin-pot dictator, proving, definitively, that the world's supposed “Superpower” is barely capable of small “Jonah Goldberg wars,” fought through surrogates; big ones against regional powers like China and Russia would most certainly prove disastrous. And yet for a Beltway liberal who styled himself a “realist” in the Bush years, Libya marks a “win” for Washington. (Steve Clemons isn't the only “realist” living in a dreamworld...) 

  • The “conservative” response, as represented by people like former UN Ambassador John Bolton, is to cheer on “democracy,” but fret that some “Islamicists” might be among the rebels NATO has been backing. (Libyans must learn to elect good men.)

All are on the same page that America is an interventionary force that must spread its political and economic system abroad—and by the D word, they certainly don't mean the will of the people, which in the Middle East and North Africa is likely something close Hamas, nor even liberalism. Democracy means, as the South Park song goes, a pacified, mass population getting the opportunity to choose between a Douche and a Turd, both of whom don't pose the slightest challenge to Washington's dollar-debt-oil world order, as Muammar Gaddafi most certainly did.

And in many ways, the ongoing implosion of America's debt-financed empire reveals Washington's motivations all the more starkly.

Iraq and Afghanistan might have evolved into pointless quagmires; however, when they were launched, they had the shine of the Force of History and Progress sweeping across the desert. The question was how to restrain, or at least ethically harness, American omnipotence.

From the beginning, the Libyan campaign has seemed like something desperate and pathetic—at best, Samantha Powers's fever-dream; at worst, a blatant power grab.

It's worth remembering that on March 19, shortly after NATO became involved, the rag-tag crew of anti-Gaddafi rebels decided to launch a new private central bank, an arrangement more to Washington's liking than Gaddafi's stated desire to begin pricing oil in a gold-backed Dinar. And does anyone doubt that NATO's European underlings will expect the oil to flow?

However the chips might eventually fall, Washington's latest overseas “victory” bespeaks nothing but full-spectrum decline.