The news reports of the last couple of months have clearly shown what was predicted long ago – that Libya is rapidly becoming the key stronghold of the so-called “Islamic State” (ISIS). It is a stronghold that is in the immediate vicinity of Europe’s southern coastlines.
This is not the first time in recent weeks he has talked about Libya and the NATO-led intervention which resulted in Gadhafi’s death in October 2014, months after NATO first intervened. In a profile published last month in The Atlantic, the President told author Jeffrey Goldberg that British Prime Minister David Cameron became “distracted by a range of other things” after the operation. Cameron, along with former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, took the brunt of Obama’s criticism.
It was not an oversight by the intervening governments when they left Libya to its own devices. That was part of the plan, such as it was, from the very beginning. They made that decision because they wanted a low-risk intervention on the cheap, and they certainly were not prepared to make a long-term commitment to police and rebuild Libya. But they were willing to help throw the country into chaos and to destabilize the surrounding region and declare victory when the regime change they supposedly were not seeking had been achieved.
Under these circumstances, the West and, above all, Europe should not wait for the black plague of ISIS to cross the Mediterranean Sea and entrench itself in France, Spain, Italy, Germany and others. It should forget about Washington’s propaganda and turn to Russia for help in a bid to make the fight against ISIS a common effort.