The brazen kidnapping of Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan (shown) last week by armed militants reportedly affiliated with his own regime exposed a number of important truths about the reality in today’s “liberated” Libya. Among the most important is the now-obvious fact that in its zeal for “regime change,” the Obama administration and other foreign powers empowered another monster — the very same Islamic extremists who supposedly justified a decade of U.S. government terror-war schemes around the world.
During the so-called “war on terror,” the U.S. government even partnered with now-slain Libyan despot Moammar Gadhafi to hunt for Islamic militants affiliated with al-Qaeda. In addition to their anti-Western fanaticism, the jihadists also loathed secular despots. Suddenly, in early 2011, those same terror-war targets became NATO allies, receiving air support, weapons, money, international backing, and more. Obama even defied the Constitution and Congress to launch an unconstitutional war ensuring their victory against the U.S. government’s former ally.
Now, the fruits of that lawless war are becoming increasingly apparent to the world — impossible to ignore, in fact. Those very same jihadists, including al-Qaeda-linked terrorists, whom American taxpayers spent trillions to fight against — not to mention thousands of U.S. soldiers’ lives — literally run the show in the new, chaos-ravaged Libya. Prime Minister Zeidan’s stunning abduction is only the most recent damning evidence confirming that to the world.
As The New American reported just weeks ago, Libya remains in total chaos following the Obama administration’s “humanitarian” war on the country’s former regime. Consider: A U.S. ambassador and other Americans are dead, sensitive American military equipment was recently stolen, multiple tribal conflicts are raging, arms from the war are boosting Islamists across the region, oil production has all but come to a halt, and savagery still reigns alongside sharia law in Libya under the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated central government.
In his “Statement by the President on the Declaration of Liberation in Libya,” Obama declared almost two years ago that the Libyan people could now celebrate “the beginning of a new era of promise.” After leaving the country in ruins, and without permission from Congress, Obama claimed he would work with the United Nations to bring stability and peace to Libya now that there was “freedom.” The establishment media left it at that — Libya was now “free” thanks to Obama and unconstitutional war.
The latest incident, though, finally attracted a fair amount of international attention, which had dried up in a flash after Gadhafi was brutally killed and the leader of al-Qaeda’s Libya branch emerged as the military governor of the capital. When security is so weak and jihadist militias are so strong that a government’s supposed leader can be effortlessly kidnapped from his home — or an American ambassador can be killed — it is no longer possible to conceal the fact that if something does not change, Libya is probably doomed to perpetual civil war.
The kidnapping happened quickly and easily. Before dawn on Thursday, October 10, a convoy of 100 to 200 militiamen in pickup trucks reportedly pulled up to the luxury Corinthia Hotel in Tripoli, the capital. A smaller team, claiming to have a “warrant” for Prime Minister Zeidan’s arrest on corruption charges, stormed in to rouse and seize the bewildered leader. His bodyguards were, of course, helpless in the face of such overwhelming force — composed primarily of militia members associated with the new “Interior Ministry.”
According to witnesses, not a single shot was fired amid the chaos. The little-known government chief was promptly stuffed into a waiting vehicle, and the convoy sped off to an unknown location. At first, Libya’s new regime — installed after the former dictator was brutalized and executed by Islamic extremists allied with the Obama administration — denied that Prime Minister Zeidan had even been abducted. A few hours later, though, Zeidan and his beaten bodyguards were freed, and the story was out.
Apparently the kidnappers might have been outraged about a recent U.S. government raid targeting Abu Anas al-Libi, an al-Qaeda operative wanted for alleged involvement in the 1998 bombings of American embassies in Africa. After the death of Gadhafi, the wanted terrorist could now live openly in Libya’s capital city, it seems, and the Islamic militants who call the shots in Libya were reportedly not happy that a longtime jihadist would have his peace disturbed by American infidels.
Prime Minister Zeidan appeared to agree with the militants, rightly or wrongly, insisting that “Libya does not surrender its sons,” and that alleged criminals should be tried in their homeland rather than being kidnapped by U.S. forces. Analysts say Gadhafi, a brutal U.S. terror-war ally until Obama decided to back his Islamist enemies instead, almost certainly would have handed al-Libi over with a mere extradition request.
The real motivation behind the prime minister’s kidnapping still remains unclear. Jihadist militias had long been calling for his resignation, despite the fact that Zeidan, widely touted as a “liberal,” appointed multiple self-styled Muslim Brotherhood operatives to his cabinet. For the last year, he has also presided over the effort to create an Islamic state under sharia to rule over Libya out of the ashes of Gadhafi’s secular regime, which was widely loathed by al-Qaeda and other Islamists as an “apostate” government.
For the more hardcore Islamists, however, that was apparently not enough. The kidnapping was also not the first time that armed militants had been dispatched to brazenly terrorize the prime minister: A few days earlier, militant militiamen had stormed into Zeidan’s office demanding “back pay,” according to news reports. They left only after ransacking the premises.
Zeidan, though, is either too scared to speak out, or genuinely wants the armed militants to become “integrated” in his regime, which is simultaneously pursuing “integration” with the terror-supporting genocidal ruler of Sudan. “I hope that they would be a part of the state, and have an effective role through its civil and military institutions,” the prime minister said in a speech after being released. “I hope that we deal with this situation wisely, using our brains, away from worries and magnifying the situation, and we try to mend what we can.”
The prime minister also tried to downplay the seriousness of being kidnapped, almost to the point of absurdity. “I want to reassure the foreigners inside Libya that this issue happened within the context of political Libyan disagreements and the foreigners are not being targeted,” he claimed. Ironically, perhaps, a car bomb exploded the next day outside of the Swedish consulate in Benghazi.
Speaking to CNN, the new Libyan government’s “Foreign Minister,” Mohammed Abdelaziz, also tried to minimize the extent of the lawlessness rampaging through the “liberated” nation. “These types of groups exploit these types of gaps that exist in the country at the moment, given the fact that we are in the process of building our criminal justice system,” he claimed, glossing over the fact that hundreds of thousands of armed militants on the government payroll are, in many cases, at war with each other, too.
Of course, The New American magazine and other observers predicted before the Western-backed, al-Qaeda-led “regime change” operation was even over that the Libyan people would end up paying the price. What the ongoing chaos and the empowerment of ruthless Islamic extremists should show, more than anything, is that aside from being unconstitutional, lawless foreign adventurism by American policymakers is a bad idea, too.
The U.S. government has no business meddling in the affairs of foreign nations — period. Even if the Obama administration and other American presidents, both past and future, were well intentioned, history shows that U.S. intervention tends to make matters worse. Libya and Syria, of course, are only the most recent examples — the creation of al-Qaeda and the Taliban decades ago was also thanks largely to U.S. intervention. However, unless the American people speak out forcefully, those disasters are unlikely to be the last.
Photo of Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan: AP Images
Alex Newman, a foreign correspondent for The New American, is normally based in Europe. He can be reached at
Libya: Now What?