Death of a Dictator

Eight months after the Obama administration initiated a military invasion of Libya, another Islamic terrorist state-sponsoring dictator is dead. Though this is breaking news, and reports are conflicting, Libya’s interim prime minister confirmed reports that longtime dictator Moammar Khadafy has been killed. Khadafy attacked the United States through numerous terrorist acts of war including a disco bombing in Berlin and, according to investigators, the 1988 mass murder of Americans in the bombing of Pan Am 103, an act which was claimed by others, including an Iranian-backed group and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Khadafy was far from being the worst state sponsor of the jihadist Moslem war against America. Iran and Saudi Arabia are widely known throughout history to encourage, sponsor and/or initiate catastrophic acts of war against the United States. While Khadafy’s death is good, his demise is decades overdue, and, as I wrote when Osama bin Laden was killed, picking off Islamic terrorist-sponsors, chieftains and combatants is not the way to win the war. In fact, because we are not actively declaring and fighting the war, we are losing the war.

“The dark shadow of tyranny has been lifted,” President Obama reportedly said of the end of Khadafy’s dictatorship, emphasizing that the end of Khadafy’s regime was executed by the U.S. for the sake of others, not as an act of American self-interest. Obama, like his predecessor, opposes an act of self-interest. He demands that foreign policy, war and the risk of losing American soldiers be based upon sacrifice for others, never for our own sake. But even on his own terms, the President, who is obviously going to run for re-election as the commander-in-chief who killed Khadafy, bin Laden and assorted terrorist chiefs, is jumping to conclusions. We don’t know what the actions of Barack Obama, whose statements, policies and wars have encouraged the overthrow of Arab nationalist dictators and destabilized north Africa, mean for the Middle East and Africa. It is too soon to tell.

Most experts agree that Tunisia, Egypt and Libya (not to mention Syria, Yemen and much of Africa) will become more liberal, devolve into some form of Islamic dictatorship or drift back and forth. If they fall to jihadists, Mubarak and Khadafy will look like liberals in comparison, inflaming the threat of a Saudi-Iran proxy war and threatening the West. Obama’s war in Libya cost the U.S. $1 billion, risked American lives and was another amorphous military entanglement without a purpose, goal or compelling national self-interest. That it resulted in an act of tribal justice is not, contrary to the chorus of compliments from pundits on the left and right, necessarily a sign of hope for civilization. Republican presidential candidate and businessman Herman Cain, writing on his Facebook page about today’s news that Khadafy’s been killed, simply responded by saying: “… that’s good.” But he sounded a proper note of caution when he added: “Now the question is: What’s next?”