New Strategy on the Repatriation of Americans from Libya
Since it is now quite apparent that the military will not alter its policies or position in regard to the disposition of the remains of the men of the Intrepid at Tripoli, in place of convincing the military to undertake the repatriation, a new strategy should be aimed at the State Department to repatriate the remains of all Americans in Libya on an emergency basis.
The radical Salafist who killed US Ambassador Chris Stevens and were identified as the biggest threat to the graves of the Intrepid men in Tripoli are now the biggest threat to all American interests in Libya as well as the biggest threat to the fledging and fragile democracy in the country. Because the Salafists are grave robbers who despise Americans and democracy, and seek to impose an Islamic state in all Libya, they present not only a serious threat, but a new opportunity to repatriate the remains of the men of the Intrepid through official State Department channels.
Shortly after diplomatic relations between Libya and the United States was reestablished, the graves of the Americans at the old Italian cemetery who died at Wheelus Air Force base were threatened by redevelopment and the renovation of the cemetery. While the Italians excavated and repatriated the remain of thousands of native Italians buried in Libya, an operation was conducted to excavate and repatriate the remains of all the Americans there as well. The American family relations of those interred who could be were identified and contacted to see if they wanted to make arrangements for the reburial of their kin in the United States. Those who didn’t or couldn’t be identified were then buried in a group grave in a Veterans cemetery near where they were repatriated at Dover, Delaware. The remains of the men of the Intrepid should have been included in that operation.
The current Islamist threat to the remains of the men of the Intrepid at Old Protestant Cemetery cannot be over stated as these religious radicals routinely attack other Islamists, especially Sufi Mosques and dig up and make off with bodies of the holy men buried there because they don’t believe such saints should be venerated, and won’t let others do it either. They physically and violently impose their will on all the areas they control, especially in the northeast coastal areas of Derna.
Since they have also been implicated in the attack on the Americans in Benghazi, and hate Americans, whenever they are inspired to attack Americans they can and will desecrate those clearly marked graves in the cemetery, and will destroy them when they can.
Therefore, it is imperative that the remains of these Americans, as well as the remains of all the Americans buried in Old Protestant Cemetery or anywhere in Libya, should be repatriated as soon as possible, and the Libyan government should make it clear that they have no objection to the proper repatriation of the remains of any American buried in Libya.