Historically Doomed – Will Libya be Obama’s Bay of Pigs?
Fifty years to the day since the ill-fated Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba, an attempt at instigating an insurrection against the tyrannical dictator Fidel Castro, the resounding defeat against American foreign policy was basically attributed to the indecisive reluctance of President John F. Kennedy to commit American military assistance, especially promised air support for the rebels at a crucial moment.
Today a half-century later, President Barack Obama has been tasked with championing many of Kennedy’s ideals, yet Castro remains in power, as does an equally tyrannical dictator, Mohmar Gaddafi, who has maintained his reign in Libya since he took over in a political coup in 1969.
Shortly after the new Arab revolution was sparked by the self-immolation of Mohamid Bouazizi in Tunisia in December 2010, the revolt quickly spread to other Arab nations in North Africa and the Middle East, and when anti-government demonstrations began in Libya in February 2011, the rebels quickly took control of most of the cities and towns outside of Tripoli and Gaddafi’s hometown.
Unlike Tunisia and Egypt however, the Libyan government responded with a violent crackdown on the demonstrations and protesters, and the well trained and paid mercenary army eventually recaptured much of the lost territory, using heavy artillery, rockets and heavy armor against lightly armed civilians.
It was at that point, according to former national security advisor to Republican presidents, that the United States should have entered the fray, and it would have been at that point that it would have made a difference.
Barack Obama’s hesitancy, indecision and reluctance to act until the United Nations and NATO endorsed the action that led to the near destruction of the democratic revolution in Libya.
And when he finally committed the United States to act, it was limited to merely protecting the Libyan civilians, and not to the removal of Gaddhafi, which sounded a lot like the limited liberation of Kuwait, or the acceptance of the 1805 peace treaty with Yousef Karamanli. Although the Tyrant of Tripoli and Barbary pirate was soundly defeated by American forces, we accepted a treaty that not only paid him ransom for prisoners, against previously stated policy, but it allowed Karamanli to remain in power, and his family continued to remain in power for another century.
If the situation develops that permits Gaddhafi or his family to remain in power, then Libya will be viewed as Obama’s Bay of Pigs, and America’s foreign policy will be set back another fifty years.