Egypt and the United Arab Emirates carried out airstrikes in Tripoli this weekend against the Islamist militants who were in the process of taking control of that city and its airport. The airstrikes appear to have failed to prevent that takeover.
The government of Libya is, in the words of its ambassador to Egypt, “unable to protect its institutions, its airports, and natural resources, especially the oil fields.”
Moreover, the U.S., which was unable to protect its personnel in Benghazi and has abandoned its embassy in Tripoli, isn’t about to help. Indeed, as Simon Henderson of Washington Institute for Near East Policy says, “the airstrikes [by Egypt and the UAE] likely indicate the frustration in Cairo and Abu Dhabi with the lack of U.S. action to stabilize Libya and act against growing anarchy in the Middle East.”
What was the Obama administration’s comment about the airstrikes. Speaking for the wimps, Jen Psaki offered this mush:
Libya’s challenges are political, and violence will not resolve them. Our focus is on the political process there. We believe outside interference exacerbates current divisions and undermines Libya’s democratic transition. And that’s why our focus remains on urging all factions to come together to peacefully resolve the current crisis.
Thus, having fled from Libya, U.S. policy consists of “urging” the jihadists who chased us out to be peaceful.
According to the Washington Post, Egypt and the UAE did not tell the Obama administration about the airstrikes ahead of time, nor was the administration aware that they would take place. Given Team Obama’s school-marmish position on Libya, coupled with its fecklessness throughout the region, we can easily understand why.