Muammar Gadhafi and his totalitarian regime are deposed. In the coming weeks he will either be killed, captured or in permanent exile. His followers will continue to ravage the country for some time but they will never take back control of the country. The former was the easy part.
The real challenge will be to forge a government that will be in the best interests of not just the Libyans but the American people as well. If we do not plant the seeds of democracy now, we may pay for it in a big way later.
Let’s face it; We dropped the ball in 1989 after we helped repel the Soviets in Afghanistan. We had the chance to build a democracy and an ally in the most tumultuous area in the world and we blew it. Radical Islamists led by the Taliban filled the power vacuum resulting in a new terrorist breeding ground. We paid for that mistake on Sept. 11, 2001.
We now face a similar crossroads in Libya. If we pack up and ship out, leaving Libya to its own devices, then we risk the power vacuum being filled by one of our mortal enemies; Iran. This is a real threat as the new Libyan Transitional National Council, led by Mustafa Abdel Jalil is already in talks with Iranian officials.
On top of that, Tehran has referred to the revolts in the Middle East as an “Islamic awakening” and has begun saber-rattling, warning Libya of “Western colonial intentions.” They’re eagerly awaiting the withdrawal of NATO forces so they can get to work.
Unless you’re of the liberal persuasion or a Ron Paul supporter, you probably understand the threat Iran poses to this country. They are the most active of the four State Sponsors of Terrorism, have nuclear ambitions, and hate the Western way of life with every fiber of their being. They don’t need an advanced missile delivery system to attack us or Israel; they are equipped with an intelligent terrorist network capable of delivering mass destruction through unconventional methods.
Iran will do everything possible to ensure their brand of radical Islam rests in the new seats of power in Libya. Unlike Iraq, occupation by American forces is not the answer. However there is no reason why the State Department, USAID, Peace Corps, private businesses and nonprofit humanitarian organizations shouldn’t be on the ground in full force.
President Obama has a foreign policy record of cutting and running. While it may play well in populist politics, it does nothing for the well-being of Americans and for the security of the nation. To much criticism, Obama chose a “lead from behind” approach in toppling Libya. If he fails to lead on reconstructing Libya and maneuvering a democratic regime with the full support of American international efforts, he could be laying the groundwork for another 9/11 somewhere down the road.
As the fighting in Libya wears down, the real battle begins. For the sake of our national security, it’s a battle we cannot afford to lose.



  1. Anonymous says:

    You cite no facts in this “opinion” – provide facts and maybe you would receive some intelligent retorts.  What evidence of Iranian influence in Libya? USAID, State Department, non-profit humanitarian orgs are on the ground in Libya. You forget that Libya was categorically against the U.S. under Muammar Gadhafi for nearly all of his reign – and even financed a terrorist attack against America (lockerbie bombing). You are right that the toughest part lies ahead, but this use of force is categorically different than Iraq and Afghanistan.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Alan Moore’s opinion
    piece, “Obama’s Failure in Libya”, (Broadside, Sept. 12 2011), is a failure
    unto itself.  The majority of Mr. Moore’s
    reasons on why he thinks President Obama’s foreign policy in Libya is a failure
    are clearly unsubstantiated to the point that his piece is a complete
    farce.  Mr. Moore believes in “planting
    the seeds of democracy”, and does not believe in the nobler notion that will
    help them and us in the long run, that notion being self-determination, if it
    worked for us, why not for them also. If he thinks that Libya will turn away
    from America because they choose too, who’s to say that they will not do the
    same to Iran?  Only Libya can determine its
    future and that’s why Obama chooses this policy, self-determination.  President Obama knows full well from the past
    ten years that trying to pursue the pushing of democracy on to a new and shaky
    government can backfire.  Just look at
    Iraq and Afghanistan, they want us out and want to chart their own way.  Mr. Obama is thinking of the future because
    he knows what we did in the past cost us too much national treasure,
    international standing, and more importantly, American lives.


                The one question I have for Mr. Moore is why Libya?  Why not pick on Obama and his foreign policy
    pertaining to Egypt or Tunisia or even Iran? 
    Seeing that Mr. Moore is a good right wing conservative, I would deduct
    that it is probably because Libya is an oil producing nation.  That may be the reason why Iran is talking to
    the transitional council, because Iran and Libya are part of OPEC.  The Libyan Transitional National Council may
    need guidance on its oil business and Iran is willing to help, which is good
    reason to scare Mr. Moore or any good right-winger. But the Council also knows
    that its biggest customers are Europe and to the extent, America.  Hence the use of NATO forces in Libya, to
    possibly protect Europe’s closest oil supply, with minimal involvement of
    American Forces.   Maybe a Special Forces
    detachment and some fixed wing aircraft, that’s all, all part of the America’s
    commitment to NATO.  No naval battle
    group off the Libyan coast, no RDF unit (Rapid Deployment Force) in the field,
    no bases setup, practically no American Forces put into harm’s way.


                Mr. Moore is correct on his assessment on the foreign
    affairs policies of the Reagan and Bush administration during the Soviet
    occupation of Afghanistan, (1979-1989), by which America “dropped the ball” on
    nation building in Afghanistan after the Soviets left.  But the Reagan/Bush plan was not nation
    building, but a two-part plan; give the Soviets its own version of Vietnam, and
    to economically bleed to death the Soviet Union via a prolonged war and a very
    expensive arms race with the United States. 
    It was not till the first Gulf War (1990-1991), did Osama Bin Laden and
    his brand of Islam, who as a matter of fact was trained and funded by the U.S.
    Government to fight the Soviets during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, did
    come back to haunt the U.S. due to his belief that only Muslims should defend
    the Saudi Kingdom when Iraq invaded Kuwait during the first Gulf War.


                    Though Mr. Moore worries that Iran poses a credible
    threat to the United States, and in a small way, they do,  what Mr. Moore fails to take into account
    that the “Awakening” has occurred in countries where the people are tired of
    the despotic/oppressive governments and want to overthrow such governments and
    that would include Iran.   Mr. Moore also
    states that getting rid of a totalitarian regime of some 40 years or so was the
    easy part.  I’m sorry, but overthrowing a
    violent dictatorship/oppressive government who kills its own citizens is never easy,
    (i.e. Tunisia, Egypt, and East Germany-successful, Iraq-still in the air, Afghanistan-don’t
    bet the ranch, and Syria, Yemen, and even Iran, yes Iran!-still ongoing), and
    takes a long time to overthrow such regimes. 
    Ask any GMU student from those countries and they will tell you!


                Of Mr. Moore’s belief of President Obama having a record
    of cutting and running, please add an example. 
    The last time I looked, he put thirty thousand more troops in
    Afghanistan when he took office.  Now, my
    math was not my best subject, but adding is not subtracting, so I don’t see the
    cutting.  On the running, I see a
    President in a tough situation, but given the circumstances when he came into
    office, I understand, but that’s why he wanted the job!


                Mr. Moore, please, when you write, have a more informed
    opinion and not rhetoric, we have too much of that already.