Many Tripoli residents — including some local rebel leaders — now often use the Arabic word for “mercenaries” or “foreign fighters” as a catchall term to refer to any member of the city’s large underclass of African migrant workers. Makeshift rebel jails around the city have been holding African migrants segregated in fetid, sweltering pens for as long as two weeks on charges that their captors often acknowledge to be little more than suspicion. The migrants far outnumber Libyan prisoners, in part because rebels say they have allowed many Libyan Qaddafi supporters to return to their homes if they are willing to surrender their weapons.Allegedly, we went into Libya to prevent human rights violations. Richard Miniter, speaking on the Ricochet Podcast, suggests that the real reason we went in was at the request of the Europeans who were:
The detentions reflect “a deep-seated racism and anti-African sentiment in Libyan society,” said Peter Bouckaert, a researcher with Human Rights Watch who visited several jails. “It is very clear to us that most of those detained were not soldiers and have never held a gun in their life.”
- Terrified of a massive wave of refugees pouring out of Libya into Southern Euope just as Southern Europe's finances were falling apart and
- So completely self-disarmed that they were utterly incapable of preventing this wave of refugees on their own.
I'm inclined to be generous towards the Obama Administration. Their every action has been characterized by a naive and childish view of the world, whether that was the stimulus, Obamacare, the Arab Spring in Egypt or their approach towards Libya. The rebels used Facebook, just like the hipsters who work in the natural food coop, so they must be OK. That the rebels were just a different band of ignorant racists* must be coming as quite a surprise**.
These surprises would look a whole lot different to the rest of us had they just been honest with their motives at the beginning. To tell us, "We're engaging in military operations in Libya to prevent an even bigger crisis in Europe" would have allowed them to shake their heads in sorrow at the oppression and slaughter that may now follow. Instead, they chose a fantasy world of pure, noble aims and are ending up with the NYT writing about racism by their new found clients. Oops.
* - It may be hard for some to believe it, but these racists don't talk with a Southern accent!
** - Surprises are popping up all over the place these days. Shockingly, massive government spending didn't result in jobs. Uh oh.