The Corner

Re: What Will Qaddafi’s Death Teach Our Enemies?

Cliff, there is a lot of truth in what you say. No one should weep for the pock-marked old drag queen’s vicious end. But, if ‘twere done, ‘twere better it had been done by the Americans after Lockerbie, or by the Brits after one of his diplomats shot and killed a London policewoman, Yvonne Fletcher, in St James’s Square, or by any other western nation after one or other of his many provocations twenty years ago. The post-Iraq Gaddafi of the last eight years was seen throughout the Arab world as a western ally. As recently as this spring, his son Khamis (a “reformer”, according to the State Department) was welcomed to this country and officially received at Nasa and the Air Force Academy. His visit to West Point was cut short only because the revolution broke out and he had to return to Tripoli to start shooting large numbers of people.

Bernard Lewis said a few years ago that, in the Middle East, America risks teaching the lesson that she is harmless as an enemy and treacherous as a friend. So far the score in the Arab Spring is pretty consistent: On the CIA rule, Gaddafi, Ben Ali and Mubarak were SOBs but perceived, to one degree or another, as the west’s SOBs. Baby Assad wasn’t our SOB, and he’s still in business, and getting aid and comfort from a supposed US client regime in Iraq. And the two most assiduous ideological exporters, Iran and Saudi Arabia, have vastly increased their influence. So has the Muslim Brotherhood.

On the other hand, it’s bad news for Ukrainian nurses. And for Beyonce, who won’t be getting any more million-dollar paychecks for playing the palace.

Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human-rights activist.


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