This Is Why You Should Look Before You Leap In Libya

Posted: Sep 14, 2011 9:20 AM

You're between a rock and a hard place when a radical group your country views as terrorists is suddenly helping fight to overthrow a crazed and dangerous dictator in their own country. Common sense would say you just shouldn't get involved, right?

"If Qadhafi does fall — and reports from the Libyan capital indicated he was on the way out — it would represent a vindication of sorts for Obama, who predicted that a combination of NATO airstrikes and economic sanctions would ultimately topple a despot who ruled his oil-rich nation with an iron hand for four decades. ... 'Qadhafi needs to acknowledge the reality that he no longer controls Libya. He needs to relinquish power once and for all,' Obama wrote." ~ Politico article from August 2011

Now, there's this article from the Washington Post, pointed out by Hot Air's Allahpundit, showing that some pockets of these supposedly democratic-loving rebels may not be as "democratic" as the West would like:

"Although it went largely unnoticed during the tumultuous civil war the regime lost last month, Islamists were at the heart of the fight, many as rebel commanders. Now some are clashing with secularists within the rebels’ Transitional National Council, prompting worries among some liberals that the Islamists — who still command the bulk of fighters and weapons — could use their strength to assert an even more dominant role. ...

"In the fight against Gaddafi’s forces, the Islamist militants played an important role among the rebels’ rag-tag forces because of their experience in battles abroad. With a place in the new Libya, most have said that their days as militants are over. The largest of the organizations, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, has re-branded itself as the Libyan Islamic Movement for Change. ...

"While Gaddafi’s government tolerated little in the way of activism, Libya’s Islamist groups appear to have emerged from his reign as the best-organized among political groups, and secularists among Libya’s new leaders appear determined not to alienate them."

The article shows there are struggles right now among the rebels as everyone hashes out just how strong of a role the Islamists will play. But the photo caption from the Getty image that ran with the article does not sound promising for the United States: "Abdel Hakim Belhaj, commander of the Tripoli Military Council, is now responsible for keeping order in Tripoli. He was formerly the emir of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, which was considered a terrorist organization by the United States."