Chaos in Libya

Libya is in trouble again. Ever since the overthrow of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, the country has been engulfed in chaos. Local militias continue to fight each other, growing more powerful and dangerous by the day; some state employees have yet to be paid; and poverty is still rampant. Obviously, the damage done by Qaddafi will take years to remedy, but it seems the interim government, led by Prime Minister Abdel-Rahim el-Keeb is having great difficulty even beginning to remedy the country’s many problems. Mr. Keeb’s government, has found itself “paralyzed by rivalries that have forced it to divvy up power along lines of regions and personalities, by unfulfillable expectations that Colonel Qaddafi’s fall would bring prosperity, and by a powerlessness so marked that the national army is treated as if it were another militia.” An advisor to Mr. Keeb also acknowledged that the government had no idea how to channel enough money into the economy so that it would trickle down to the streets. Officials hope that elections in the coming months can bring some of the same positive results exhibited in Egypt and Tunisia, like conveying “authority to an elected body that can claim the mantle of popular will.” However, “Iraq remains a counterpoint. There elections after the American invasion widened divisions so dangerously that they helped unleash a civil war.” And everyday, local militias grow stronger and stronger, threatening national unity. Do you think Libya has the same fate as Iraq? Can Libya solve all of its problems on its own? Since the international community was instrumental in the overthrow of the Qaddafi government, do you think it should guide Libya in the right direction and help it clean up the mess left by decades of dictatorship and oppression?



  1. I am not at all surprised by this latest development in Libya. The people of Libya have no experience in leading themselves. It it absurd to think that in such circumstances a nation can just pull a democratic form of government out of thin air. It is bound to take generations, if ever, before the Libyan people can become sufficiently educated in the ways of democracy to enable a functioning democratic government there. In the meantime, more instability in an already volatile part of the world is not good for the United States. Libya could easily become a new base for Islamic terrorism. In a country as unstable as Libya currently is, it is easy for terrorists to set up shop with no fear of a functioning law enforcement body to stop them. Rather than sit back and let the situation in Libya get worse, the world community, and the European nations that spear-headed the charge in Libya in particular, should step in to try to bring stability to Libya. If this is not done, certain doom awaits.

  2. I think the international community, particularly the United Nations, has an obligation to help Libya ensure the success of its democracy. A failure to do so could establish poor precedent and send the wrong message to citizens of other countries, like Syria, where great efforts have been made to battle an oppressive government. Allowing such positive efforts by repressed citizens to be strung along by a detached international community would be particularly unseemly and a real threat to future relations with these nations.

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